Purchasing Manager  What They Do

Just the Facts


Plans, directs, or coordinates the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products and services.

This career is part of the Business, Management and Administration cluster Operations Management pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Represents companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.
  • Directs and coordinates activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.
  • Interviews and hires staff, and oversees staff training.
  • Locates vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interviews them to determine product availability and terms of sales.
  • Prepares and processes requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.
  • Develops and implements purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
  • Maintains records of goods ordered and received.
  • Analyzes market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.
  • Participates in the development of specifications for equipment, products or substitute materials.
  • Resolves vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Buyer -- Plans and selects a range of products to sell.
  • Materials Manager -- Buys materials, products and services and also plans, directs and coordinates the activities of workers, such as buyers and purchasing officers.
  • Merchandising Manager -- Supervises the activities of a store or retail chain's merchandising efforts which involves selecting and purchasing the goods that a store will sell.
  • Purchasing Analyst -- Monitors all the processes involved from the purchase of items and goods to the shipment and storage of the items for redistribution or sale.
  • Supply Chain Manager -- Oversees the steps that brings a product from its raw material form to the point at which it is available for sale.