Purchasing managers are also referred to as supply managers, purchasing directors or contract specialists. Most purchasing managers oversee the operations of a purchasing department and negotiate with suppliers and wholesalers to obtain items for resale to customers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, purchasing agents usually have at least five years of experience in a purchasing department before assuming the duties of a purchasing manager.
Wage and Salary Data:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of 2011, purchasing managers earned an average annual salary of $103,110, or about $50 per hour. Half of all purchasing agents working in the U.S. reported salaries between $73,000 and $126,000 per year. Before becoming a purchasing manager, a worker could expect to earn an average annual salary of about $55,000 as a purchasing agent.
Earnings by Employment Sector:
Purchasing managers are employed in numerous industries, including the government. Managers employed by the federal government averaged $124,000 per year, while those in local government averaged $85,000 per year. Purchasing managers who worked for companies that make navigational, measuring and electromedical instruments and aerospace products and parts averaged about $109,000 per year. Purchasing managers employed in pipeline transportation of natural gas reported the highest average salary for this occupation, at $153,300 per year.
Earnings by State:
2011 figures released by the BLS displayed a wide geographical variance in average earnings for purchasing managers. Many of the highest-paying states were located in the Northeast, with New Jersey, the District of Columbia and New York all reporting average salaries in excess of $120,000 per year. Purchasing managers working in Colorado and Delaware also reported high average salaries. Those working in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi and Hawaii reported average annual earnings of less than $80,000 per year. Purchasing managers in Montana reported the lowest average salary in the country, at $66,600 per year.
The BLS predicts the number of purchasing manager jobs will grow 7 percent between 2010 and 2020. That's about half the average rate of growth expected for all occupations. Employment prospects for purchasing managers are expected to be strongest in the wholesale and retail industries. Applicants with extensive experience as purchasing agents, or as assistant purchasing managers, will have the best prospects for employment.