Career Advice on How to Become A Purchasing Manager

General Career Information

It is a well-known fact that the popular kids in high school all grow up to become purchasing managers.  Okay, not exactly, usually it’s the guy who was the manager of the AV Club in high school who got burned out on “all things audio-visual.”  Yet, if you were neither popular nor in the AV Club, don’t fret, as there is still hope for you to enter this exciting and rewarding career. But when you sit around all day and buy stuff for rich people and the corporations they own, that is its own reward, isn’t it?

Career Facts:

As a purchasing manager, you will be spending most of your time trying to find the best deal possible for your employer and living in complete blinding fear.  The complete blinding fear aspect of this job is not immediately obvious when one accepts the position, but you can bet this fear comes with it.  Purchasing managers must live in fear of not getting the best deal possible.  If they fail to get the best deal possible and their manager or an accountant ever uncovers this fact, it can be curtains.  Not all purchasing managers are the same however.  Some work purchasing goods for wholesale and retail, while others work for the government.  There are other types of purchasing managers as well, but that ever-present fear is there no matter what field they are working in.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

The career outlook for purchasing managers and purchasing agents is expected to be about average at seven percent between 2008 and 2010.  Therefore, you can factor into your career planning that your job search will be at an average level of difficulty.
Job Outlook is Fair

A Day in The Life:

One, if not the main preoccupation, of the purchasing manager is to deal with suppliers.  This is by far their most important role.  How well they perform this role mostly determines their effectiveness and how they are thus perceived.  The job can be quite stressful, especially when one is employed by a company or in a field where limited amounts of supply are kept on hand.  This, of course, means that purchasing may need to be done quickly as large amounts of money and profit may be at state.  

On a given day, it is possible that a purchasing manager may be interviewing and evaluating prospective suppliers.  They must determine the capabilities of these suppliers, in other words, how fast they can deliver merchandise and with what level of reliability.  Purchasing managers spend most of their workdays in an office setting, but on occasion, travel is likely.

Average Salary:

The average salary for a purchasing manager is roughly $89,000 with the top ten percent earning about $115,000 per year.



Career Training and Qualifications:

Many businesses will expect their applicants to hold a college degree; often degrees in business or other graduate degrees are common.  Regardless of a candidate’s educational background, the training period can last for years.
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