Purchasing managers buy equipment, goods and services for their company.
Salary Range: £20,000 to £60,000
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
There is no set entry route to become a purchasing manager but it may be useful to get a relevant foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:
- business studies
- purchasing and logistics
- purchasing and supply
- supply chain management
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could get into this job through a commercial procurement and supply higher apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could start by working as an administrator or assistant in a company’s purchasing department. You could work your way up as you get more experience.
You could also take professional qualifications through an organisation like the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
You can apply directly for jobs if you have several years’ experience in purchasing. If you have a degree you can join a company’s graduate management training scheme.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply for professional development training and industry contacts, which could help with your career.
You can find more advice about becoming a purchasing manager from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Skills and knowledge
- business management skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of English language
- to be flexible and open to change
- analytical thinking skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- deciding what goods, services and equipment are needed
- monitoring and forecasting stock levels
- researching and finding new products and suppliers
- assessing tenders from potential suppliers
- negotiating prices and agreeing contracts
- keeping up to date with market trends
You could work in an office.
You can improve your career prospects with a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.