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Procurement Manager

Buy products and services at the best price to save money for your company or organisation.

Also known as: purchasing manager, buyer

About skillsGetting in

About the job


Source: National Careers Service



Entry level





Entry level





Entry level




people are currently employed

High growth

500 more jobs in 5 years

These figures refer to this job and similar ones with comparable skills and qualifications. They only apply to Scotland. Source: Oxford Economics

What it's like

You'd source or buy the best quality goods, services or works for your organisation at the most competitive rates.

You'd aim not only to save money but to deliver wider sustainable outcomes. These include minimising waste and environmental impact and supporting ethical, diverse and future-proofed supply chains.

You'd analyse information from suppliers to check the quality of their goods or services, their costs and their approach to wider sustainable outcomes.

You could negotiate with the suppliers to try and get a lower price without impacting wider sustainable outcomes, continuing to manage supplier relationships and commitments through the lifetime of the contract.

There are lots of different industries or areas you could work in, so what you'd buy would depend on your employer.

For example, you could buy:

  • raw materials and engineering components for a manufacturing company

  • wholesale goods from a producer to be sold by a shop

  • furniture, equipment and cleaning, catering or IT services for your organisation's offices

  • construction works for new or refurbished buildings

You would:

  • create strategic plans for your organisation, allowing you to bring forward your own ideas and leadership skills as you work with all parts of the business

  • work with users and stakeholders to specify what goods, services and works your employer needs now and in the future

  • check and forecast requirements and/or stock levels

  • research and identify current and emerging products and suppliers

  • assess information and tenders from potential suppliers

  • negotiate prices and wider commitments, agreeing contracts

  • make sure that suppliers deliver on time and meet any other commitments

  • ensure payments and invoices are processed

  • keep up with market trends

  • apply sustainable procurement practices, taking climate action and minimising environmental impacts of procurement, and realising social and economic benefits through procurement

In larger organisations, you might run a purchasing department and lead a team of category managers, buyers and administrators.

In smaller companies, you might combine purchasing responsibilities with other management duties.


You'd typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, perhaps with overtime to meet an occasional deadline. Part-time work may be available.


You'd be mainly office-based.


You may travel to meet suppliers.

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Top skills

Skills are things you're good at. Whether you know what yours are or not, everyone has them!

It's useful to learn which ones are important in a job so you know the areas you need to brush up on. It can also help you work out if you're suited to a career.

Here are some of the skills you'll need to do this job:

  • taking responsibility
  • motivating others
  • making decisions
  • delegating
  • managing resources
  • developing a plan
  • attention to detail
  • verbal communication
  • cooperating

Your skills are important

Our unique skillsets are what make us stand out from the crowd. Learn about each skill in depth and discover what employers look for in your applications and interviews.

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Getting in

Explore the sections shown for more information about getting into this career.

You might have qualifications which are not shown here but will allow you access to a course. You can compare your qualifications by looking at their SCQF Level. For more information about this, check out the SCQF website.

Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Colleges and universities will list subjects you'll need for entry to a course. Some useful subjects include:

  • Accounting

  • Business Management

  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Business Skills

You can get a head start in this career by doing a Foundation Apprenticeship in S5 and S6.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification which is the same level as a Higher. You'll also learn new skills and gain valuable experience in a work environment.

Discover what's on offer at your school on  Apprenticeships.scot.

Many employers expect entrants to have a relevant Higher National Diploma (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Level 9/10).

Some employers may offer a graduate training scheme where you'd work towards professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).

An alternative entry route is to start as a procurement officer and work your way up, taking professional qualifications through CIPS while you work.

Entry requirements for the Higher National Diploma (HND) Supply Chain Management course at City of Glasgow College are 2 Highers at C minimum.

Entry to the third year of the International Supply Chain Management course at Glasgow Caledonian University is through completion of the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Supply Chain Management first.

Postgraduate courses accredited by the CIPS are available at Heriot-Watt University and Robert Gordon University.

Relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Supply Chain Management (SVQ Level 3/4/5).

Once in the job most employers will expect you to gain professional qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) if you haven't acquired these through your course.

Some employers will require qualifications that are relevant to their industry instead of, or in addition to, procurement qualifications.

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