Summary Report for:
11-3061.00 - Purchasing Managers
Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. Includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.
Sample of reported job titles: Commodity Manager, Director of Materials, Director of Purchasing, Director of Strategic Sourcing, Materials Manager, Procurement Manager, Procurement Officer, Purchasing Director, Purchasing Manager, Purchasing Supervisor
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.
- Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.
- Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.
- 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.
- Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
- Maintain records of goods ordered and received.
- Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products or substitute materials.
- Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.
- Resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.
- Control purchasing department budgets.
- Review, evaluate, and approve specifications for issuing and awarding bids.
- Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy.
- Administer online purchasing systems.
- Prepare reports regarding market conditions and merchandise costs.
- Prepare bid awards requiring board approval.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
Technology used in this occupation:
- Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software
- Data base reporting software — SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports
- Data base user interface and query software — Corel Paradox; Database software; Microsoft Access ; Oracle DBMS
- Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Bowen & Groves M1 ERP; Epicor Vantage ERP; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ; SAP software (see all 5 examples)
- Financial analysis software — Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management Solutions
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Microsoft Visio
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Inventory management software
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management; Material requirement planning MRP software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Point of sale POS software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Procurement software — Ariba Spend Management Suite; Bottomline Technologies Bottomline Sprinter Purchasing Manager; Purchasing software; PurchasingNet eProcurement (see all 5 examples)
- Project management software — Microsoft Project ; Microsoft SharePoint software ; Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Portfolio Project Management
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Management of Material Resources — Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
- 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.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Detailed Work Activities
- Supervise employees.
- Direct financial operations.
- Develop operating strategies, plans, or procedures.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Interview employees, customers, or others to collect information.
- Analyze data to inform operational decisions or activities.
- Maintain operational records.
- Negotiate sales or lease agreements for products or services.
- Develop organizational policies or programs.
- Implement organizational process or policy changes.
- Prepare operational budgets.
- Conduct employee training programs.
- Schedule product or material transportation.
- Coordinate with external parties to exchange information.
- Hire personnel.
- Prepare forms or applications.
- Resolve employee or contractor problems.
- Develop specifications for new products or processes.
- Examine financial records to ensure compliance with policies or regulations.
- Implement transportation changes to reduce environmental impact.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 83% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Contact With Others — 63% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 54% responded “Very important results.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 54% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 54% responded “Some freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 54% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 42% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 42% responded “High responsibility.”
- Deal With External Customers — 54% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Consequence of Error — 29% responded “Very serious.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 38% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related 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.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: EC
- 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.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$51.98 hourly, $108,120 annual|
|Employment (2014)||73,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Little or no change (-1% to 1%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||17,900|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Purchasing managers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Purchasing Society , North Island Center, Suite 203, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60506. Phone: (630) 859-0250. Fax: (630) 859-0270.
- APICS - The Association for Operations Management , 5301 Shawnee Rd., Alexandria, VA 22312-2317. Phone: (773) 867-1777. Fax: (773) 409-5576.
- Institute for Supply Management (ISM) , P.O. Box 22160, Tempe, AZ 85285-2160. Phone: (480) 752-6276. Fax: (480) 752-7890.
- National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) , 151 Spring St., Suite 300, Herndon, VA 20170-5223. Phone: (703) 736-8900. Fax: (703) 736-2818.