Administration & Office Support

Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers plan and coordinate the buying of goods or services for a broad range of companies and organisations.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Purchasing Manager do?

Purchasing managers plan and coordinate the buying of goods or services for a broad range of companies and organisations.


Work activities

As a purchasing manager, you would:

  • evaluate potential suppliers on the basis of price, quality, and speed of delivery
  • visit suppliers’ plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices
  • prepare documents for tenders for supply of goods
  • analyse tender responses, quotations, financial reports, and other information to determine reasonable prices
  • negotiate contracts with suppliers
  • meet with staff and vendors to discuss any issues with the supply of goods or services
  • forecast demand for goods or services and maintain appropriate stock levels
  • ensure that vendors and suppliers comply with the terms and conditions of contracts
  • attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to make contacts with suppliers and keep up to date with industry trends
  • hire, train and coordinate the activities of other inventory and purchasing staff.

Key skills and interests

To become a purchasing manager, you would need:

  • good communication skills
  • excellent negotiating skills
  • numeracy skills, to work with facts and figures
  • analytical ability
  • accuracy, organisation skills and attention to detail
  • good business and commercial sense
  • teamwork skills
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would normally work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, with occasional overtime to meet deadlines at busy times. Part-time work may be possible.


Purchasing managers work in most industries, and in companies of all sizes, and the conditions in which they work may therefore vary greatly. Workplaces range from offices, factories and industrial premises, to schools and hospitals. You may also need to travel to meet suppliers. 


How to become an Purchasing Manager?

Entry Level Education

To become a purchasing manager, you do not need formal qualifications. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a VET qualification in business, purchasing or transport and logistics.

You may also become a purchasing manager through a traineeship in Purchasing or Logistics. Generally, employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

However, purchasing managers in larger companies, including wholesale and distribution organisations, usually have at least a bachelor’s degree and some work experience in procurement. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Purchasing managers may begin their careers in junior roles in administration or purchasing and procurement, before being promoted into more senior roles. Certain industries, such as engineering, construction, mining, manufacturing and retail usually require prior technical or purchasing experience in those industries.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of purchasing managers is projected to remain relatively steady.

As purchasing managers are employed in a broad range of industries and companies, opportunities will usually be good, both in, and outside of, large metropolitan areas.


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