Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. Includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.
Sample of reported job titles: Category Purchasing Manager, Commodity Manager, Materials Director, Materials Manager, Procurement Director, Procurement Manager, Purchasing Director, Purchasing Supervisor, Strategic Sourcing Director
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.
- Develop cost reduction strategies and savings plans.
- Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
- Prepare bid awards requiring board approval.
- Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.
- Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales.
- Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.
- Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.
- Review, evaluate, and approve specifications for issuing and awarding bids.
- Control purchasing department budgets.
- Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy.
- Resolve vendor or contractor grievances and claims against suppliers.
- Administer online purchasing systems.
- Maintain records of goods ordered and received.
- Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.
- Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products, or substitute materials.
- Prepare reports regarding market conditions and merchandise costs.
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- Business intelligence and data analysis software — Qlik Tech QlikView
- Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Data base reporting software — SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports
- Data base user interface and query software — Corel Paradox; Database software ; Microsoft Access ; Oracle DBMS
- Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Microsoft Dynamics ; NetSuite ERP ; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ; Oracle PeopleSoft (see all 8 examples)
- Financial analysis software — Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management Solutions
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Inventory management software
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management; Materials requirement planning MRP software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Point of sale POS software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio
- Procurement software — Ariba Spend Management Suite; Automated purchase order software; Bottomline Technologies Bottomline Sprinter Purchasing Manager; PurchasingNet eProcurement (see all 5 examples)
- Project management software — Microsoft Project ; Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Portfolio Project Management
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
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- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
- Management of Material Resources — Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
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- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Negotiate sales or lease agreements for products or services.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Analyze data to assess operational or project effectiveness.
- Develop operating strategies, plans, or procedures.
- Develop organizational policies or programs.
- Implement organizational process or policy changes.
- Supervise employees.
- Interview employees, customers, or others to collect information.
- Coordinate with external parties to exchange information.
- Conduct employee training programs.
- Hire personnel.
- Prepare forms or applications.
- Direct financial operations.
- Examine financial records to ensure compliance with policies or regulations.
- Prepare operational budgets.
- Resolve employee or contractor problems.
- Maintain operational records.
- Analyze data to inform operational decisions or activities.
- Implement transportation changes to reduce environmental impact.
- Develop specifications for new products or processes.
- Schedule product or material transportation.
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 67% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 75% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 52% responded “More than half the time.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Very important.”
- Time Pressure — 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 48% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 38% responded “Some freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 48% responded “Important results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 50% responded “High responsibility.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 33% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Degree of Automation — 57% responded “Moderately automated.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: EC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$60.55 hourly, $125,940 annual|
|Employment (2020)||74,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||6,300|
|Top industries (2020)||
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Purchasing Society
- Institute for Supply Management
- National Association of State Procurement Officials
- NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents
- Universal Public Procurement Certification Council
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