Purchasing Managers - Overall employment of purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents is projected to decline 4 percent from 2020 to 2030 Despite declining employment, about 45,800 openings for purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Employment Employment of buyers and purchasing agents is projected to decline due to increased automation and outsourcing of some procurement tasks. Organizations will likely adopt automation for simple procurement functions, such as finding suppliers or processing purchase orders. In addition, some organizations may rely on third parties to handle other tasks, such as market research or supplier risk assessments. Organizations may outsource these functions to focus on complex or strategic procurement tasks and to reduce costs.
Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products. Purchasing managers oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents and typically handle more complex procurement tasks.
Education and Qualifications
Workers may begin as trainees, purchasing clerks, junior buyers, or assistant buyers. Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have a college degree and who are familiar with the merchandise they sell and with wholesaling and retailing practices. Prospects often need continuing education or certification to advance.
Educational requirements tend to vary with the size of the organization. Large stores and distributors prefer applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree program with a business emphasis. Many manufacturing firms put an even greater emphasis on formal training, preferring applicants with a bachelor's or master's degree in engineering, business, economics, or one of the applied sciences. A master's degree is essential for advancement to many top-level purchasing manager jobs.
Persons who have a bachelor's degree in engineering, business, economics, or one of the applied sciences should have the best chance of obtaining a buyer position. Industry experience and knowledge of a technical field will be an advantage for those interested in working for a manufacturing or industrial company. Government agencies and larger companies usually require a master's degree in business or public administration for top-level purchasing positions. Most managers need experience in their respective field.
Earnings in May 2021
2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,430, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $111,200.
The Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM)
Founded in 1915, the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) is the largest supply management association in the world as well as one of the most respected. ISM’s mission is to lead the supply management profession through its standards of excellence, research, promotional activities, and education. ISM’s membership base includes more than 34,000 supply management professionals with a network of domestic and international affiliated associations. ISM is a not-for-profit association that provides opportunities for the promotion of the profession and the expansion of professional skills and knowledge.
The American Purchasing Society
The American Purchasing Society is a professional association of buyers and purchasing managers and was the first organization to establish certification for buyers and purchasing professionals. Join those who have improved their careers by earning the American Purchasing Society's purchasing certification recognition. Become a Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), a Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), and/or a Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC) today.
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