Purchasing Supervisor

Direct a team that buys supplies for a company.
picture of Purchasing Supervisor

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$55,000 – $150,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Purchasing Supervisors do?

As the name implies, a Purchasing Supervisor is in charge of a team of people who make purchases for the company. While most of your tasks revolve around making sure your people are well trained and follow the rules, Purchasing Supervisors also set the policy for the entire department, resolve conflicts, and work directly with vendors.

As a Purchasing Supervisor, you spend much of your workday dealing with personnel issues. The Puchasing Supervisor performs evaluations of the people on your team, and trains new staff members. You reprimand employees who are caught slacking on the job. They’ll be less likely to slack in the future if they know you make surprise visits.

You also have a hand in processing payroll. If your department works 24 hours per day, you set up complex work schedules to make sure the shifts have complete coverage.

You spend the rest of your day working with suppliers. If those suppliers are always late with their deliveries, you call them to resolve the problem, or meet with new suppliers who can offer lower costs and better service.

You make the big decisions so suppliers may take you to lunch frequently. You draw up contracts with them, holding them to a certain price or a certain delivery schedule. This gives you protection if something goes wrong.

At times, you may be required to come out from behind your desk and ensure that everything is working as it should. You inspect the warehouse, and make sure the inventory is orderly and properly stocked. Sometimes, you use heavy equipment to move things around.


Should I be a Purchasing Supervisor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Director of Purchasing, Livestock, Grain, Cotton and Other Farm Products Purchasing Director, Purchasing Analyst See More

    How to become a Purchasing Supervisor

    Most Purchasing Supervisors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:acf9ca&chl=|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%288%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2883%25%29|master%27s+%284%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,83
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