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Purchasing Management

Earnings Potential

  • Purchasing managers typically earn between $54,150 and $121,600 per year (BLS). 

Facts at a glance

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a slower job growth of less than 8% for purchasing manager jobs through 2014.
  • This slower than average of job growth is due to use of the internet, which makes information easier to obtain and therefore improves productivity. The internet also allows companies to bid on contracts without having to go through a purchasing manager. 
  • The best jobs go to candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree, posses industry experience and technical knowledge (BLS). 

Summary of what this career entails

Purchasing managers are in charge of finding, negotiating and purchasing the best quality goods and services for the lowest possible price for their company ’s own use or for resale.  They purchase a variety of products and services such as clothing, electronics, raw materials for manufacturing, office supplies, agricultural products, Christmas trees, or tobacco for further processing or resale.  Considerations such as price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support are important when choosing suppliers and merchandise.  They study sales and inventory records, identify foreign and domestic suppliers, and keep abreast of changes that affect the supply and demand for products and services (BLS). 

Examples and or details of work

In an online article titled "Dairy Queen Adopts e-Sourcing Solution" published on November 9, 2006, the Supply and Demand Chain Executive reported that Restaurant chain International Dairy Queen has “selected an e-sourcing solution from Iasta as part of an effort to simplify procurement processes and lower overall procurement costs through the use of advanced decision optimization and analysis.  International Dairy Queen, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, manages a system of more than 5,600 Dairy Queen restaurants in the United States, Canada and other foreign countries. Dairy Queen is part of the Berkshire Hathaway family” (


Degrees that lead to this career

Educational requirements vary according to industry.  However most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business, engineering, economics or an applied science.  Most employees must learn the specifics of their employers business, and training can take 1 to 5 years.  Regardless of the industry, continuing education is essential as technologies change.  Professional certificates and designations such as CPM (Certified Purchasing Manager) or CPPM (Certified Professional Purchasing Manager), conferred by the American Purchasing Society are helpful for employment in private industry.  Federal, State and local government purchasing managers can earn a CPPB (Certified Professional Public Buyer) or CPPO (Certified Public Purchasing Officer) designation conferred by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (BLS).


Supply and Demand Chain Executive.  “Dairy Queen Adopts e-Sourcing Solution”.

9 Nov. 2006.  9 November 2006. 


United Press International. “Gene Linked with Mental Illness is Studied”.  7 Nov. 2006. 

8 November 2006.


U.S. Department of Labor.  Bureau of Labor Statistics.  “Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents”.  4 Aug. 2006.  9 November 2006.