How To Become A Purchasing Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become purchasing managers in Australia.


Are you interested in business and its supply chain operations, and do you like predicting market trends? Then, a career as a purchasing manager could be ideal for you.


Purchasing managers are supply-chain professionals who work as representatives for companies and organisations. They negotiate with vendors to get the best product price or to manage buyers, purchasing officers, and other employees involved in buying raw materials for production and resale.


To become a Purchasing Manager, you need a bachelor's degree in business, finance, supply chain, logistics, or a related field and relevant work experience. Earning a relevant Master's degree and certifications can improve your entry into this role.


This blog gives you a detailed understanding of the "Purchasing Manager" profession. Read on to learn what a Purchasing Manager does, education requirements, national average salary, job outlook, and what it takes to become one in Australia.



1. What Is A Purchasing Manager?


Purchasing managers, also called supply managers, source goods and services for their business and negotiate to get the best available quality for the lowest price.


In this senior-level position, they lead a team responsible for procuring goods and services for company use or resale.


They generally work for manufacturers, larger companies, organisations, wholesalers, or retailers to locate vendors, evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review product quality.



2. What Does A Purchasing Manager Do?


The responsibilities of a purchasing manager vary based on the industry they work in. Those working with retailers or wholesalers buy finished goods, while those working with manufacturers buy raw or minimally processed materials. 


The typical job duties for a purchasing manager include the following:


  • Study the market to identify price trends and availability of goods and materials.

  • They plan, manage, and coordinate purchasing materials, products, or services for retailers, organisations, or wholesalers.

  • Oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents for buying equipment, supplies, or materials their employer requires

  • Meet vendors and visit their distribution centres to see what services and products they offer

  • Research and assess potential suppliers offering favourable quality, price, and delivery speed.

  • Negotiate prices, and technical specifications for raw materials, products, components, equipment, etc.

  • Prepare requisitions and purchase orders.

  • Maintain purchase records

  • Consider the product condition to determine whether their business can use or resell it.

  • Recruit, train, and manage buyers, purchasing agents, and other subordinates 

  • Analyse price proposals and financial reports to form a purchasing decision keeping the organisation's long-term success in mind.

  • Assess retail and wholesale purchasing agreements, and ensure vendors fulfil the contract terms and conditions 

  • Monitor inventory levels

  • Forecast upcoming demand

  • Process payments and invoices

  • Use recording systems to track movements of raw materials and finished goods and ensure re-stocking at optimal times.

  • Work closely with the Purchasing Director to develop effective procurement strategies.



3. What Skills Do You Need as Purchasing Manager?


A Purchasing Manager gets everything a company might require, such as goods, products, and services. To know how to become an excellent purchasing officer, you need to have the following purchasing staff skills:



Technical Skills


  • Computer and technology knowledge

  • Good at using IT systems, procurement software, and spreadsheets to track purchases.

  • Industry-specific knowledge

  • In-depth understanding of the supply chain operations, the internal functioning of an organisation, and the purchasing process.

  • Good background in business 

  • Market researching tactics

  • Financial management skills 

  • Marketing Capabilities

  • Math skills to get the best deal for their business.



Soft Skills


  • Confidence

  • Administration skills

  • Good management skills

  • Negotiation skills

  • Able to Multitask

  • Great attention to detail

  • Effective Communication skills

  • Profitable decision-making skills

  • Good leadership, people management, and interpersonal skills to manage their team and communicate with vendors.

  • Networking skills to find and reach out to new suppliers and retail and production partners.

  • Active listening and Diplomacy to work with suppliers

  • Excellent Analytical skills

  • Able to think fast on their feet

  • Planning skills to organise and track multiple projects and plan their meetings, purchases, and activities on time.



4. What Are The Qualifications Of A Purchasing Manager?


Since "Purchasing Manager" is a senior-level position, you must have a bachelor's degree and extensive experience as a buyer or purchasing agent.


How do you start a career in purchasing? You need to meet the below purchasing manager education requirements:


  • Study for a bachelor's degree in business, finance, economics, supply chain, logistics, engineering, or a related field. Some even enter this role with an associate's degree in the supply chain.

  • Some employers may also prefer job applicants to have related certifications and can demonstrate excellent practical skills.

  • Gain experience to advance your procurement career. You can complete relevant internships during your graduate school years or undertake on-the-job training to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of the Chief Procurement Officer or Director of Purchasing.  



5. How To Become A Purchasing Manager In Australia?


Here is a step-wise guide to help you get started on the journey of a Purchasing Manager:



Step 1: Earn A Bachelor's Degree


As it is a senior role, employers look for candidates who hold a Bachelor's in a related field such as Business AdministrationLogisticsFinanceOperations Management, or another related field.


These entry-level courses teach you the basics of the procurement and budgeting process, the supply chain management, including covering pricing and cost analysis, data analysis, supplier relations, and product and business knowledge.


When studying for a bachelor's degree, you develop a good understanding of the most common components of business functions, such as accounting, finance, marketing, production, and human resource management.


Aspiring Purchasing managers can choose to complete any of the below bachelor's degrees to land a Purchasing Manager's role:


  • Bachelor of Business Administration

  • Bachelor in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

  • Bachelor in Operations Management

  • Bachelor in Supply Chain Management

  • Bachelor in Business Analytics

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management



Step 2: Find A Job


Many employers seek candidates with at least five years of relevant experience.


So, graduates with a bachelor's degree should look for entry-level positions such as purchasing agents, buyers, assistant buyers, or purchasing clerks at manufacturing companies, government agencies, or other related organisations to gain industry experience. 



Step 3: Complete On-The-Job Training


Regardless of the formal education level, you will have to go through one to five years of on-the-job training to learn the particulars of the business, including business practices, merchandising, invoicing, inventory management, and sales force supervision.



Step 4: Get Certified


After completing a 4-year degree and some years of professional experience, consider becoming certified. The Australasian Supply Chain Institute offers a range of global professional certifications through its partnerships with ASCM/APICS, VCare, and ISM Academy. Click here to explore their Supply Chain certifications.


The University of Melbourne conducts purchasing manager certification as Professional Certificate in the Supply Chain Management program. It is worth pursuing if you wish to move into the logistics and supply chain field or advance your career in procurement.


Certification Details:


  • 100% online

  • Six months part-time

  • Available to domestic and international students


You can also consider the below Certifications for purchasing managers that give you global recognition in the logistics, supply chain, and purchasing, and the advantage of appearing for professional posts in any esteemed organisation.


  • The Certified Purchasing Professional 

  • The Certified Purchasing Professional Manager 

  • The Certified Green Purchasing Professional 

  • The Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant 

  • The Certified Public Procurement Officer 



Step 5: Earn A Relevant Master's Degree


Some employers require purchasing managers to have a master's degree. The qualification is essential for top-level employment and those wanting to enhance their chances of progressing to a managerial position.


  • Master of Science in Supply Chain Management - Victoria University

  • Master in Business Administration - RMIT University


The courses give an in-depth understanding of the process of evaluating customers' needs, determining lifecycle value, forming purchasing decisions, negotiating contracts, and also cover topics such as:


  • Procurement law

  • Logistics

  • Government contracting

  • Operations management

  • Channel management



Professional Associations & Groups:




6. Purchasing Managers Courses In Australia


Purchasing Managers are the driving force behind the success of every business. Whether you want to work for a multinational corporation or a local company, the below courses will prepare you for this responsibility and help you unlock your career potential.


You gain the essential skills to oversee chain management, procurement, and purchasing, integrate key business processes and manage the logistical functions of an organisation.


Created by industry professionals, the courses involve workplace-based assessments that improve your job prospects, confidence, and expertise as a logistics professional.




7. How Much Does A Purchasing Manager Earn In Australia?


According to PayScale, the average purchasing manager's salary in Australia is AU$ 75,948 per year or the equivalent of AU$ 28.24 per hour. The average purchasing officer's salary in Australia is AU$60,474 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$27.51.


The amount of work experience, specialist skills, and place of work are some factors that influence the salary of a purchasing manager in Australia. Additional certifications in the below areas can get you higher pay and perks:


  • Contract negotiation, 

  • Supply-chain management and optimisation,

  • Supplier management, 

  • Leadership 


Purchasing managers may also earn extra compensation from their employers via profit-sharing plans.



Average Purchasing Manager's Salary Based on Experience


  • Early career Purchasing Managers (1-4 years of experience): AU$66,301 per year

  • Mid-career Purchasing Managers (5-9 years of experience): AU$73,435 per year 

  • Experienced Purchasing Managers (10-19 years of experience): AU$88,061 



Average Purchasing Officer's Salary Based on Experience


  • Entry-level Purchasing Officers: AU$52,634 per year

  • Early career Purchasing Officers: AU$58,511 per year 

  • Mid-career Purchasing Officers: AU$61,957 per year 

  • Experienced Purchasing Officers: AU$67,299 per year 



Purchasing Manager's Salary Based on Work Location:


  • Melbourne: $79,459 per year

  • Brisbane: $87,744 per year

  • Sydney: $86,282 per year



8. Job Outlook For Purchasing Managers In Australia


The Department of Employment projects high demand for qualified and competent purchasing managers.



Employment by State


The majority of Purchasing Managers work within NSW. There is a higher proportion of Purchasing Managers in Victoria and Queensland compared to the average for all other occupations.



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


It is a male-dominated industry where 58.4% of Purchasing Managers are female, and 41.6% are male.


The average age for Purchasing Managers is 44 years, four years more than the average age for all jobs.



Number Of Hours Worked


Purchasing Managers work an average of 44.4 hours a week, 4.3 hours more per week compared to the average for all jobs.



9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What Are The Alternate Career Options For Purchasing Managers?


Purchasing Managers can enter financial management, taking care of an organisation's finances.


Another alternate career option is to become a logistician taking care of the supply system that includes receiving, distributing, and delivering products.


Purchasing Managers can find work opportunities on the service side of the business. They can become an administrative services manager supervising maintenance staff, managing record-keeping systems, and setting budgets.



What Are Purchasing Officer Qualifications In Australia?


Purchasing Officers coordinate the purchase of goods to use as raw materials in production or resale. Here are the purchasing officer qualifications to get started in this role.


Though having a formal qualification isn't needed to work as a Purchasing Officer, having one could help you build relevant job skills and knowledge. Consider completing a VET qualification such as:


  • Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting (PSP40616)

  • Diploma of Logistics (TLI50221), or 

  • Diploma of Procurement and Contracting (PSP50616)


Alternatively, complete a Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) to broaden your skillset.


Develop work experience by working in an entry-level role in buying, inventory control, or procurement.



Where Can I Find Purchasing Manager Jobs In Australia?


Purchasing managers work almost everywhere. You can find them in the purchasing department of manufacturing companies, retail trade, wholesale trade, and government sectors.


Any company, large or small, dealing with finished goods or raw materials require purchasing managers to oversee them. In larger companies, purchasing managers might work with an assistant purchasing manager and lead a team of buyers.


However, in a small company, they handle purchasing-related tasks by themselves.



Are Purchasing Managers In Demand?


No modern business can operate without purchasing managers who handle everything from production to logistics to distribution.


Without them, there will be no raw materials to produce goods and no finished products to sell. These supply-chain professionals manage the flow of services and goods from origin to consumption to meet customer requirements.


Considering the vital role they play in the product lifecycle and the purchasing decisions they make, purchasing managers are in demand by companies to support them in their daily operations and production.


Manufacturers, retailers, the federal government, and wholesalers frequently employ purchasing managers. Opportunities are also available in e-commerce, food and beverage companies, technology, and engineering firms.


They help businesses find profitable deals on parts, identify product types that will be popular, and leverage networks to acquire resources to make and distribute daily essentials.



What Are The Career Advancement Options For Purchasing Managers?


As the supply chain field is complex and expansive, many career options are available for qualified purchasing managers in Australia.


  • Many purchasing managers begin their careers as purchasing agents, procurement analysts, buyers, or specialists. 

  • With experience, they can further their learning to become assistant purchasing managers and purchasing managers, sourcing managers, supply managers, directors of materials management, commodities manager, or category manager. 

  • From there, experienced purchasing managers may get promoted to the Vice President of procurement, Vice President of sourcing, Chief Procurement Officer, or the Director of Procurement.



10. Conclusion


Purchasing managers immensely contribute to helping the business grow and improve its sales performance. Keeping the business on top of its game is a satisfying experience. 


If you want to work in a varied and exciting role that opens the door to numerous career paths, then completing the above qualifications will lead you to your dream destination.


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