Skip navigation

Purchasing Managers

Also called: Commodity Manager, Director of Purchasing, Materials Manager, Purchasing Manager

Where in the military? In the military: see titles from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy.

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.


  • management
  • customer service
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • talking to others
  • changing what is done based on other people's actions
  • bringing people together to solve differences
Resource Management
  • managing your time and the time of other people
  • selecting and managing the best workers for a job


  • communicate by speaking
  • communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
  • come up with lots of ideas
  • use rules to solve problems
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem


People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Initiative
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Adaptability/Flexibility


You might use software like this on the job:

Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • Bowen & Groves M1 ERP
  • Epicor Vantage ERP
Procurement software
  • Ariba Spend Management Suite
  • Bottomline Technologies Bottomline Sprinter Purchasing Manager
Data base user interface and query software
  • Corel Paradox
  • Database software


Education: (rated 4 of 5)
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about purchasing managers.