Certified Purchasing Manager: Job Duties, Employment Outlook, and Education Requirements

Learn about the education requirements and job duties for certified purchasing managers. Find out about the job outlook and salary potential for this career. Continue reading to explore whether a career as a certified purchasing manager is right for you. Schools offering Procurement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Certified purchasing managers are responsible for purchasing goods and services for a company's use or for resale to customers. The job of a certified purchasing manager is a demanding one, and most of these managers frequently work longer than 40 hours a week attending conferences, arranging special sales or meeting production deadlines. Qualified candidates must begin as assistant buyers, junior buyers, expediters, purchasing clerks or trainees before assuming a managerial position.

Job Duties Oversee and execute purchasing activities, develop policies and procedures, negotiate contracts
Education Bachelor's degree may be required; depends on the size of the organization
Certification The American Purchasing Society offers certification for purchasing managers; several other organizations offer related certifications
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 5% (purchasing managers)
Average Salary (2017)* $121,810 (purchasing managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of Certified Purchasing Managers?

Certified purchasing managers purchase goods and services for resale to their customers or for the company's use. It is the job of certified purchasing managers to shop around for the best quality and price for these goods and to purchase them based on their availability and their company's demand. To identify this demand, managers must stay on top of changes affecting the supply and demand of these goods and services, which usually means studying the inventory levels and sales records of their company. Certified purchasing managers sometimes supervise purchasing agents who work under them and often take on the more critical and complex purchases of the company. These managers may work for a private company or even hold a government position.

Here are some of the other tasks that certified purchasing managers may perform:

  • Develop procurement policies and procedures
  • Evaluate supplies and interview vendors
  • Attend trade shows to learn about new trends in the industry
  • Coordinate the work of buyers and purchasing agents

What Kind of Employment Growth and Salary Can I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions for purchasing managers are expected to grow by an estimated 5% between 2016 and 2026. The BLS reported in May 2017 that the average annual salary earned by purchasing managers was $121,810. The highest-paid purchasing managers in 2017 worked for oil and gas extraction companies.

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

Individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree in economics, business, engineering or one of the applied sciences have a much better chance of obtaining a job as a certified purchasing manager. Individuals hoping to obtain a top-level purchasing job, such as a purchasing manager, will most likely need to obtain a master's degree in one of these fields. Certified purchasing managers should master the skills of mathematics, financial analysis, data analysis, word processing and spreadsheet software, as well as become adept at using the Internet for product research and purchasing.

What Organizations Offer Certification?

There are a range of organizations offering certification for purchasing agents. The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) credential, Next Level Purchasing Association offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) credential, Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two types of certification, and the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) and National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) offer courses to help you prepare for certification exams.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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