Purchasing managers primarily work for manufacturing or wholesale companies and are responsible for the purchase of goods necessary for the business. Their primary goal is to get the best quality items at the cheapest price. These individuals are college-educated and are expected to have a good job growth rate in the future.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for purchasing managers is expected to stay at its present level to the year 2018. Purchasing managers will be most needed in companies that are dealing with larger collaborative purchasing networks. The average annual salary for a purchasing manager is approximately $89,160. the median salary range goes from $67,370 to a ceiling of $115,830. Those in the highest earning bracket earned at or above $142,550, with the lowest annual pay at or below $51,490.*
Those working in wholesale and retail businesses had a average yearly salary of $48,710, with the middle range of salary going from $36,460-$66,090 per year. The highest earnings were at or above $90,100 and the lowest earnings were at or below $28,710. Purchasing managers working in businesses dealing with farming products at an average salary of $49,670, with the highest salary earnings at $96,220 and the lowest at or below $28,990.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Benefits offered for this position include: paid sick leave, pension plan, vacation, health insurance and life insurance. Some employers, such as retail businesses, offer people in this position possible bonuses and may give a discount when shopping with the employer.
Job Description and Outlook
Purchasing managers work 40 hours a week and may have extended hours because of meetings, deadlines, sales events and high-volume times of year for shoppers that occurred during the holidays. The job may require traveling within the country or overseas, depending on the type of company that the individual works for. In order to get the best products for the lowest price for their employer, purchasing managers analyze sales records and the company’s current stock of product. They also have to find suppliers, both in and out of the country, while staying up-to-date on consumer supply and demand for particular products. They may purchase items that are going to be sold to consumers by the company, which can include anything from clothing to tobacco.
The purchasing manager also has to determine what kind of products will sell best, keep tabs on competing companies in their sales, steady consumer purchasing patterns and track inventory. They also have to analyze the companies that supply them with the products, using various resources. They attend trade shows and conduct meetings to determine the best kind of products for the company to sell.
Due to the nature of the work and the need for the purchasing manager to be present during peak shopping times, they often are forced to take vacations during slower periods of the year. This is especially true during major holidays, back-to-school sales and other busy times of the year.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
an individual may enter this position by starting work as an assistant buyer, a trainee were purchasing clerk. Having a college diploma and experience with the products that the company sells to be a huge advantage to the applicant. The level of education required to apply for a purchasing manager job may very depending on the employer and the part of the country that the individual works in. Those with a bachelor or masters degree in business, economics or engineering have more opportunities for employment, and a masters degree is often required to be promoted to higher positions.
Initial training may last from one to five years in order for the individual to learn about the company and its products. They may also have to work in a department that does planning for a period of time to obtain knowledge with the inventory system the company uses, how the ordering process works and related areas. During initial training, individual may have to do tasks such as check invoices, sell products and track stock.
Having knowledge of software that relates to this field and the ability to evaluate technical data are requirements for success. The individual is also have knowledge of financial analysis, math skills and be able to communicate with others effectively.
The Institute for Supply Management offers a Certified Professional in Supply Management certification which encompasses broad range of duties in this area. The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing offers federal purchasing managers certification as either a Certified Public Buyer or as a Certified Public Purchasing Officer. There are numerous others certifications available in this field.
The Association for Operations Managers offers its members certification opportunities, numerous resources and continuing education. Members can attend conferences and take advantage of online resources to keep up to date on this job’s current trends.