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Purchasing Manager Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Purchasing Manager. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Purchasing Manager
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Purchasing Manager Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Purchasing managers, also known as contract managers, manage the buying in of goods and services for organisations. The work includes liaising with departmental managers to determine their requirements, sourcing suppliers of goods and services and inviting tenders.

The tenders are then evaluated and negotiations are conducted with the selected suppliers, and terms of contract are then drawn up with legal specialists.

The work involves contact with people both within the employing organisation and externally. Purchasing administrators spend much of their time using trade directories and catalogues. Using a computer is also an important part of the work, in order to record and analyse information, and to keep records.

Purchasing managers normally with the help of a clerk or secretary. Managers working in a larger organisation might have a purchasing administrator or a team of buyers, senior buyers and others.

Hours and Environment

Purchasing managers work 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Where deadlines must be met, hours could be longer.

The work is office-based. In some jobs managers travel to other parts of the UK and even Europe. A driving licence is essential.

Skills and Interests

To be a purchasing manager you should:

  • be aware of how businesses, local government and other public organisations operate
  • have good oral and written communication skills
  • be numerate and computer literate
  • have a pleasant, confident manner for dealing with a range of people
  • be able to work well as a member of a team
  • have the ability to analyse and assess information
  • be well organised and methodical
  • pay attention to detail
  • have good negotiation skills
  • be able to work to deadlines.


There is no set entry requirement for this area of work. Previous experience of purchasing, business, law or quantity surveying is helpful. Many employers ask for either a BTEC/SQA higher national certificate or diploma (HNC or HND) or a degree. There are some courses that specialise in purchasing management. Otherwise business administration, public administration and similar subjects are the most relevant.

To get on to a HNC or HND you need at least one A level/ two H grades plus four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3). A degree course requires two A levels/ three H grades plus five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1 to 3). Equivalent qualifications may be accepted.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Some employers prefer employees to be Members of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). Membership is obtained by completing the CIPS Graduate Diploma or by having a NVQ/SVQ in Procurement at Level 4, or by having an accredited degree (CIPS can provide a list).


Employers provide training, often combined with study for CIPS qualifications. These include the Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Purchasing and Supply, and a graduate diploma.

NVQs/SVQs in Procurement at Levels 2, 3 and 4 are available. There are some postgraduate qualifications relevant to purchasing. Those with extensive experience as a purchasing manager can work towards the Eurodiploma in Purchasing and Supply Management.


Purchasing managers are employed throughout the UK by manufacturers, commercial companies, local authorities and other public bodies such as the Civil Service and the National Health Service. Large organisations have specialist buying departments. Smaller organisations might have purchasing work done by one person or just a few people.

There is a shortage of suitably qualified people for purchasing manager jobs.

Purchasing managers may become purchasing directors or heads of department. They might need to move to gain promotion. They may move into related work, such as distribution, marketing or sales.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

New purchasing managers earn around £20,000 a year.
With experience, earnings may rise to around £25,000.
Some purchasing managers or purchasing directors earn over £50,000.

Further information

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
Easton House
Easton on the Hill
Tel: 01780 756777

Other Useful Purchasing Manager Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Purchasing Manager job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Purchasing Manager Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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