Purchasing managers and directors


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Purchasing managers and directors (not retail) plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the purchasing functions of industrial, commercial, government organisations and public agencies to ensure cost-effectiveness.


Although not restricted to a particular qualification, entry is most common with A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award, S/NVQs at level 3 or above, or a degree or equivalent qualification. Off- and on-the-job training is provided and professional qualifications are available. Chartered status may also be achieved.

Typical tasks

  • determines what goods, services and equipment need to be sourced;
  • devises purchasing policies, decides on whether orders should be put out to tender and evaluates suppliers’ bids;
  • negotiates prices and contracts with suppliers and draws up contract documents;
  • arranges for quality checks of incoming goods and ensures suppliers deliver on time;
  • interviews suppliers’ representatives and visits trade fairs;
  • researches and identifies new products and suppliers;
  • stays abreast of and ensures adherence to relevant legislation regarding tendering and procurement procedures.

Common job titles

Director of contracts (government)
Manager, category
Director, purchasing
Manager, contract
Manager, estimating
Manager, procurement
Manager, purchasing
Manager, bid
Manager, commissioning
Manager, buying
Manager, contracts
Manager, production, bid
Manager, supplies
Manager, chain, supply

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.