Purchasing Manager

Job Description:

Purchasing managers buy equipment, goods and services for their company.

Job Category:
Retail & Consumer

What you will do:

You could:

  • decide what goods, services and equipment are needed
  • forecast stock or service levels and identify potential cost savings
  • research and find new products and suppliers
  • assess tenders from potential suppliers
  • present any legal or commercial risks to senior leadership teams
  • negotiate prices and agree contracts
  • monitor the performance of contracted suppliers
  • make sure staff follow purchasing procedures correctly
  • keep up to date with market trends


You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • business management skills
  • customer service skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • persuading and negotiating skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

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
  • marketing
  • supply chain management


You could start as a trainee purchasing manager through an advanced Procurement and supply assistant apprenticeship.

You could also do a Commercial procurement and supply higher 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.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you have several years’ experience in purchasing. If you have a degree you can join a procurement graduate management scheme.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings occasionally.

You could work in an office.

Career Path & Progression:

You can improve your career prospects with a qualification.