Purchasing Manager Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

Purchasing managers are responsible for purchasing supplies, equipment, products, services, and materials for a company. They typically manage a purchasing department where they oversee and approve purchases. They develop strategies based on company needs and must stay within the company and other guidelines, regulations, and restrictions. They track purchases in an effort to reduce costs and increase effectiveness. Purchasing managers must be strong leaders, be good decision-makers, and have excellent negotiation skills to secure purchases at the best prices and terms. They need good communication skills in dealing with internal management and outside suppliers and vendors. 

Purchasing managers work to mitigate risks, especially with large purchases. They must have a knack for finding reliable partners and building and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers, so they need good interpersonal and networking skills. They must be aware of company needs and should be able to access the appropriate quantity of goods and services to avoid any gaps in production. Sound judgment and excellent organizational skills are essential. Purchasing managers work in all industries. 

Sample job description #1

If you are a person who enjoys negotiating cost-effective purchasing strategies and fostering long-term vendor relationships, consider a Purchasing Manager position with ABC Company! Strong communication and independent decision-making skills coupled with ERP purchasing experience would make you the perfect candidate for this position.


  • Performs quality control of all incoming product and materials
  • Develops sourcing strategies and purchasing strategies within company procedures
  • Creates Purchase Orders
  • Assists in the preparation of bidding documents
  • Monitors all purchase requisitions and handle adjustments with vendors
  • Communicates with the Production and Service teams
  • Works with engineering and other internal departments as needed
  • Develops and maintains a professional business rapport with vendors
  • Negotiates pricing, terms, lead times
  • Works with co-workers and vendors to resolve items
  • Performs risk management assessments


  • Degree in Business Management, Supply Chain Management, or Procurement and Contractual Management
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) a plus
  • Ability to maintain a high quality of work while presented with competing tasks in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong Microsoft Office Skills
  • Experience with ERP purchasing software equivalent to Epicor, SAP, or NetSuite
  • Independent decision-making skills
  • Strong interpersonal communication and negotiation skills

Sample job description #2

What you will be doing

You will work with multiple functions to focus on the overall purchasing need for the company along with partnering with our Operations teams to drive our order management process. In supporting these functions, you will be accountable for all Purchase Order creation, and all inbound order acceptance, resolution and processing including validation, organization, and accuracy of these deliverables.

A day as a purchasing manager:

  • Measure food cost percentage
  • Supervise and develop an existing team: Buyer(s), Admin Clerk(s), and Receivers
  • Develop and streamline process, e.g. accessibility, availability, cost, and quality assurance
  • Assist in food presentations and develop in conjunction with management and manage pricing structure to meet food cost goals
  • Guarantee systems for best price/value for products such as: High value fish, meat, poultry, specialties, dairy fruits, and produce. as well as basic F&B supplies
  • Create and monitor reports with variable year and seasonality prices input in order to create most cost effective high-end menus together with corporate executive chefs
  • Analyze procurement and financial data in conjunction with the Unit Controller for opportunities including supplier rationalization, tenders, aggregation, and specification alternatives
  • Attend food tasting sessions for new products
  • Maintain contracts, buy side related paperwork, and related files
  • Develop sourcing plans and budgets, track results as necessary to meet contract obligations
  • Review Purchase requisitions, obtain competitive quotes, and plan Purchase Orders
  • Monitor and resolve supplier performance and business issues that may occur to ensure food safety compliance, HACCP regulations, and FDA regulations
  • Establish cross-functional sourcing targets such as redesign improvements and material and process standardization
  • Manage day-to-day supplier communications
  • Establish and negotiate agreements and maintain business relationships with the established supplier to assure on-time delivery, favorable pricing, and capacity allocation and Purchase terms

What you have:

  • Awareness of the operational sequences
  • Ability to work well within the team as well as independently
  • Planning, co-ordination, communication, and leadership skills
  • Three (3) to five (5) years in related purchasing or contract purchasing field
  • Background in institutional and contract food purchasing
  • Proficient in using Microsoft: Word, Excel, Outlook, purchasing software preferred
  • System knowledge MS Navision
  • Contract and negotiation skills
  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) knowledge required
  • Ability to reduce complex issues to basic components
  • Ability to work well in a fast paced environment and with a diverse clientele that requires a hands on approach to our guests needs
  • Ability to complete assigned tasks within the given time in order to meet strict deadlines
  • Flexibility (different shifts – night, weekends, holidays)

Sample job description #3

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Responsible for sourcing equipment, goods and services, and managing vendors
  • Perform strategic procurement activities, search for better deals, and find more profitable suppliers
  • Track and report key functional metrics to reduce expenses and improve effectiveness
  • Craft negotiation strategies and close deals with optimal terms
  • Forecast price and market trends to identify changes of balance in buyer-supplier power
  • Seek and partner with reliable vendors and suppliers
  • Determine quantity and timing of deliveries
  • Monitor and forecast upcoming levels of demand

Education and/or work experience requirements:

  • Knowledge of purchasing raw materials and key components for manufacturing process
  • Proven working experience as purchasing lead/manager
  • Familiar with sourcing and vendor management
  • Interest in market dynamics along with business sense
  • A knack for negotiation and networking
  • Working experience of vendor management software
  • Ability to gather and analyze data and to work with figures
  • Knowledge of process-oriented operations and/or related industry
  • Knowledge of financial, accounting, and project management principles and practices
  • Experience working with manufacturing based technology
  • Ability to effectively communicate with other managers/employees

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a purchasing manager is $74,000 per year in the United States, with total compensation of $80,000 including annual incentives. Salary will vary depending on the level of experience, education, and geographical location. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$73,600$99,550
Los Angeles, California$83,000$112,250
Denver, Colorado$69,200$93,600
Washington, DC$84,300$114,050
Miami, Florida$68,900$93,200
Orlando, Florida$63,550$85,950
Tampa, Florida$64,150$86,800
Atlanta, Georgia$67,300$91,050
Chicago, Illinois$77,350$104,650
Boston, Massachusetts$83,650$113,200
Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota$66,650$90,200
New York City, New York$88,050$119,150
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$71,700$97,000
Dallas, Texas$69,800$94,450
Houston, Texas$69,500$94,050
Seattle, Washington$80,500$108,950
National Average$62,900$85,100

Sample interview questions

  • What are your criteria for selecting the most ideal suppliers and vendors? 
  • Do you have experience purchasing both raw materials and finished goods?
  • What are some negotiation tactics you employ when dealing with suppliers?
  • What are some projects have you worked on while leading a purchasing team?
  • Can you give an example of a cost-savings measure you were able to employ? 
  • Which vendor management software are you familiar with?
  • How do you resolve disagreements with vendors? 
  • Can you give an example of a purchase that was unsuccessful? What did you learn?
  • How do you ensure the success of your team?
  • What are the biggest challenges in the industry right now? 
  • How do you ensure that your team complies with national and international codes of conduct?
  • How do you ensure delivered products meet specifications?
  • How do you ensure that important orders aren’t delayed? What do you do if they are? 
  • What’s your sourcing strategy for accessing new suppliers?
  • How do you evaluate a supplier?
  • How do you document purchase agreements?
  • How would you go about canceling a vendor account?
  • How do you process purchase requisitions?
  • How do you monitor and maintain purchasing budgets?
  • How would you handle a consistently underperforming buyer or purchasing agent?

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