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Details for Purchasing Managers


Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.


  • Control purchasing department budgets.
  • Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.
  • Maintain records of goods ordered and received.
  • Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales.
  • Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.
  • Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy.
  • Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.
  • Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
  • Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products or substitute materials.
  • Resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.
  • Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.
  • Review, evaluate, and approve specifications for issuing and awarding bids.
  • Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.
  • Prepare bid awards requiring board approval.
  • Prepare reports regarding market conditions and merchandise costs.
  • Administer online purchasing systems.
  • Arrange for disposal of surplus materials.


  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.



  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Financial Resources - Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Management of Material Resources - Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Related Careers

  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers
  • Management Analysts
  • Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers
  • Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
Wages for this career
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