How to Become a Purchasing Manager in 2022

Purchasing managers are responsible for purchasing or obtaining the materials or goods that their organizations need. They must also make sure that they get a good deal. Purchasing managers typically work in manufacturing, distribution, retail, and government sectors. This blog post will provide you with what it takes to become a great purchasing manager with tips on how to land your first job as well as advice on how to advance your career.

How to Become a Purchasing Manager

Learn About Being a Purchasing Manager in 2022

Purchasing managers are responsible for buying goods and services that the company needs. However, there is a lot more to being a successful purchasing manager than just selecting suppliers. Purchasing managers also need to be able to negotiate with suppliers by understanding their pricing, quality, and delivery schedules. When negotiating with suppliers, it is important to know how much of the company’s budget is available for that particular purchase. This will allow you to negotiate better deals for your company. If you want to learn about becoming a purchasing manager and would like advice on dealing with suppliers, this guide is for you!

What is Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers are responsible for managing the buying and selling of goods. Their duties may include negotiating prices with suppliers, coordinating logistics, and ensuring that products are available to meet customer demand. Although purchasing managers may have a background in human resources or accounting, many employers prefer to hire individuals who have an education in business administration. Purchasing managers must possess strong negotiation skills and excellent problem-solving abilities in order to keep up with the fast-paced nature of retail operations. Here is more information about this position:

What does a purchasing manager do?

A purchasing manager is responsible for ensuring that the company has the proper supplies in order to complete their tasks. Purchasing managers typically have a background in supply chain management, but they may also have a degree in business or marketing. It takes patience and persistence to become a purchasing manager. The job can be stressful, with high pressure and long hours. But if you’re passionate about quality control and want to work in retail, this might just be the career for you! Here is what it’s like to be a purchasing manager:

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Purchasing managers oversee an organization’s procurement strategies. They assess purchasing needs, identify suppliers and negotiate agreements. These procurement professionals also manage and train teams. A typical purchasing manager handles the following tasks:

  • Evaluating and improving procurement strategies: Purchasing managers are responsible for assessing an organization’s existing procurement strategies and recommending methods for decreasing costs, time or waste.

  • Overseeing inventory levels: These professionals evaluate inventory needs, maintain appropriate levels of current stock and devise strategies for disposing of outdated items in profitable ways.

  • Negotiate supplier contracts: Purchasing managers oversee contract negotiations with suppliers, which includes approving contracts written by purchasing agents and assisting with complex or large-scale supplier agreements.

  • Building and managing buying teams: As managers, these professionals are responsible for leading teams of buyers and purchasing agents. They assist with hiring processes, administer training, set departmental goals and ensure staff members efficiently work together.

Average salary

Almost all purchasing managers work full-time jobs, and many work more than 40 hours a week. Average salaries depend on the purchasing manager’s experience and education level as well as their employer’s industry and location.

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $70,753 per year

  • Some salaries range from $23,000 to $153,000 per year.

Purchasing manager requirements

Purchasing managers need a bachelor’s degree, a professional certification, several technical skills and at least five years of experience working in the procurement industry.


Almost all employers require purchasing managers to have a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most helpful majors include:

Business administration

One of the most common degrees for purchasing managers, a bachelor’s in business administration teaches aspiring professionals essential management and leadership skills. With this degree, you can also expect to learn business basics, accounting and marketing fundamentals, and the principles of project management.


Aspiring purchasing managers who pursue a finance degree can expect to learn foundational theories of finance and economics as well as the principles of research and data analysis. With a finance degree, you can also master skills like teamwork, leadership and relationship management.

Supply chain management

This bachelor’s degree can help you master supply chain fundamentals, including the principles of logistics, inventory management and procurement. Most supply chain management degrees also include business administration and management components.

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Since purchasing managers tend to be mid-career employees, they typically have several years of work experience. Most work as buyers or purchasing agents for at least five years before advancing to this management role. As entry-level purchasing agents, these professionals usually complete up to a year of on-the-job training. During this time, they become adept at various aspects of supply chain management, including researching and negotiating with suppliers as well as tracking and planning for inventory adjustments.


To succeed as a purchasing manager, consider earning a professional certification. Some employers require these credentials, especially for management positions. The most common procurement certifications include:

Certified Public Purchasing Officer

Designed for procurement professionals who work for government agencies, this credential is available from the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree, have at least five years of procurement experience for a public agency and pass certification courses.

Certified Purchasing Professional

This credential is available from the American Purchasing Society and requires candidates to acquire points. You can earn points by publishing relevant articles, presenting at conferences, gaining industry experience and completing coursework.

Certified Supply Chain Professional

Available from the Association for Supply Chain Management, this credential requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, at least three years of procurement experience and pass a certification exam.

Senior Professional in Supply Chain Management

This credential requires procurement professionals to take courses and pass an exam administered by the Next Level Purchasing Association.


Purchasing managers need the following skills to excel in this role:

  • Computer skills: To conduct research, chart trends, write reports and communicate with suppliers, purchasing managers need basic computer skills. Most need to know standard spreadsheet, database, email and presentation software.

  • Decision-making skills: Purchasing managers frequently make crucial decisions. They must understand how to weigh benefits and drawbacks, forecast results and make quick choices to accomplish their goals.

  • Leadership skills: As managers, these professionals need leadership skills to manage and train teams. Purchasing managers also need to set goals, build teamwork and implement organizational strategies.

  • Math skills: Since purchasing managers frequently compare and evaluate costs, they need strong math skills. Most acquire these skills during their undergraduate studies.

  • Negotiation skills: Purchasing managers need negotiation skills to secure the most beneficial deals with suppliers. To negotiate successfully, they need to know how to assess internal parameters, evaluate supplier needs and devise compelling offers.

  • Procurement software: To handle complex research and negotiations, purchasing managers use procurement software. Most learn the basics of these applications while working as purchasing agents, and they can complete tutorials or training programs to refresh their skills.

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Purchasing manager work environment

Purchasing managers generally work at desks in office settings. They use computers and digital files, and they may have cubicles, enclosed offices or desks in open-layout spaces. Many purchasing managers also spend a portion of their work hours traveling, especially when they meet with clients or suppliers.

How to become a purchasing manager

To succeed as a purchasing manager, consider these four steps:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree.

To begin working in the procurement industry, you need a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common degrees in this field include business administration, finance and supply chain management.

2. Earn a professional certification.

You can improve your skills and stand apart from the competition with a professional certification. Some of the most common include the Certified Purchasing Professional credential from the American Purchasing Society and the Senior Professional in Supply Chain Management certification from the Association for Supply Chain Management.

3. Work as a purchasing agent.

To advance to this management position, you need procurement industry experience. Most purchasing managers have at least five years of experience working as a buyer or purchasing agent.

4. Master key skills.

As you gain work experience, strive to cultivate and improve the necessary skills for this industry. Decision-making, negotiation and leadership skills are critical for purchasing managers.

Purchasing manager job description example

Smith Group is seeking an experienced purchasing manager to evaluate our buying processes and recommend more resource-efficient purchasing strategies. The ideal candidate will have at least five years of experience working as a purchasing agent and will understand how to set buying goals and best practices for inventory management. If you have strong negotiation and decision-making skills as well as experience managing teams, we would like to discuss this position with you.

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