Purchasing managers
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Overview
Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. Purchasing managers oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for purchasing managers are expected to grow by 6%, and should have about 6,300 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Purchasing managers are less likely to be automated than 84% of other careers.
Workforce size
Purchasing managers, with 73,900 workers, are near the middle of all careers in the number employed.
Education
About 63% of purchasing managers have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by purchasing managers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More purchasing managers have bachelor's degrees than 77% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for purchasing managers is higher than 96% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most purchasing managers.
This job's median $119KAll jobs' median $39K$114K$38K20142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 47% of purchasing managers -- that's a larger percentage than 61% of other jobs.
Gender of purchasing managers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For purchasing managers, the median men's salary was 19% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 16% of purchasing managers are minority, and 10% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of purchasing managers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (10%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Purchasing Managers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 61% of purchasing managers, and 75% have company-sponsored health insurance (13% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for purchasing managers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 62% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of purchasing managers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (90%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (52%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (39%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (33%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do purchasing managers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for purchasing managers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for purchasing managers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for purchasing managers (BLS Salary Data)
$119K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$119K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all purchasing managers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for purchasing managers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for purchasing managers (ACS Salary Data)
$73K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$73K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where purchasing managers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Purchasing managers (ACS)
Private for-profit (73.6%)
Private not-for-profit (5.7%)
Local government (4.2%)
State government (5.1%)
Federal government (10.2%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.7%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.5%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of purchasing managers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$73K$74K$84K$70K$65K$61K$81K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Self-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of purchasing managers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$119K$134K$99K$118K$84K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for purchasing managers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$65K$81K$76K$71K$78K$82K$53K$82K$36K$0$50K$100K$150KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Purchasing managers and gender

With 47% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 61% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
47%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Purchasing managers
Men (53%)
Women (47%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for purchasing managers, with the median salary for men 19% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$67K$79K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Purchasing managers have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 56% of other jobs.

19%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of purchasing managers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority purchasing managers than for 65% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of purchasing managers
White (82% )
Black (8% )
Asian (5% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (2% )
American Indian (0% )
Hispanic (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
10%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for purchasing managers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$59K$66K$66K$72K$74K$75K$80K$0$50K$100K$150KOtherAmerican IndianMultiracialBlackWhiteAsianHispanic
Distribution: Salaries for purchasing managers by nativity
$73K$73K$0$50K$100K$150KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by purchasing managers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), purchasing managers typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as purchasing managers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for purchasing managers.

Education attained by purchasing managers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for purchasing managers

Purchasing managers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree and some work experience in procurement.

Educational requirements for buyers and purchasing agents usually vary with the size of the organization. Although a high school diploma may be enough at some organizations, many businesses require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. For many positions, a degree in business, finance, or supply management is sufficient.

For those interested in a career as a buyer or purchasing agent of farm products, a degree in agriculture, agriculture production, or animal science is often beneficial.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for purchasing managers

There are several certifications available for buyers and purchasing agents. Although some employers may require certification, many do not.

Most of these certifications involve oral or written exams and have education and work experience requirements.

The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) certification. The CPP certification is valid for 5 years. Candidates must earn a certain number of professional development “points” to renew their certification. Candidates initially become eligible and can renew their certification through a combination of purchasing-related experience, education, and professional contributions (such as published articles or delivered speeches).

APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of relevant business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential. The credential is valid for 5 years. Candidates must also earn a certain number of professional development points to renew their certification.

The Next Level Purchasing Association offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) certification. Although there are no education or work experience requirements, applicants must complete six online courses and pass an SPSM exam. Certification is valid for 4 years. Candidates must complete 32 continuing education hours in procurement-related topics to recertify for an additional 4-year period.

The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two certifications for workers in federal, state, and local government. The Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credential requires applicants to have earned at least an associate’s degree, possess at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, possess at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and complete additional training courses.

Those with the CPPB or the CPPO designation must renew their certification every 5 years by completing continuing education courses or attending procurement-related conferences or events.

The National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) and the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) offer preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for purchasing managers? Below we see the distribution of purchasing managers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as purchasing managers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$43K$56K$61K$60K$78K$99K$92K$89K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KNone (1%)High School (10%)Some College (19%)Associate's Degree (8%)Bachelor's Degree (40%)Master's Degree (19%)Professional Deg/Doct (2%)Doctorate (1%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by purchasing managers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as purchasing managers. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Purchasing managers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
8.8%
$0$200K$63K
5.1%
$0$200K$60K
4.4%
$0$200K$67K
4.0%
$0$200K$72K
3.6%
$0$200K$73K
2.6%
$0$200K$53K
2.3%
$0$200K$56K
1.7%
$0$200K$89K
1.6%
$0$200K$60K
1.4%
$0$200K$97K
1.3%
$0$200K$80K
1.2%
$0$200K$54K
1.2%
$0$200K$63K
1.1%
$0$200K$57K
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as purchasing managers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by purchasing managers given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Managers (specialized areas)Accountants and auditorsFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersFinancial managersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesChief executives and legislatorsSecretaries and administrative assistantsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersRetail salespersonsElementary and middle school teachersMarket research analysts and marketing specialistsCustomer service representativesService sales representativesLawyers, judges, and magistratesBookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerksFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersManagement analystsFinancial analystsPersonal financial advisorsSecurities, commodities, and financial services sales agentsCredit counselors and loan officersPostsecondary teachersEducation administratorsCounselorsSocial workersPsychologistsPhysicians and surgeonsLogisticiansPurchasing agentsPurchasing managersTransportation, storage, and distribution managersGeneral and operations managersProduction, planning, and expediting clerksBusiness Management andAdministrationGeneral BusinessMarketingAccountingFinanceEconomicsPolitical Science andGovernmentPsychologyOperations Logistics andE-CommerceCommunicationsAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for purchasing managers

What jobs will most purchasing managers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of purchasing managers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Purchasing managersPurchasing agentsManagers (specialized areas)Wholesale and retail buyersLawyers, judges, and magistratesFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersSecretaries and administrative assistantsTransportation, storage, and distribution managersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersGeneral office clerksGeneral and operations managersStock clerks and order fillers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for purchasing managers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 8 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as purchasing managers as well as 1% of respondents after working as purchasing managers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for purchasing managers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Secretaries and administrative assistants
395,200
$0$200K$36K
General office clerks
356,600
$0$200K$33K
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Purchasing agents
23,900
$0$200K$53K
Wholesale and retail buyers
13,500
$0$200K$42K
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers
9,700
$0$200K$53K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for purchasing managers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as purchasing managers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of purchasing managers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for purchasing managers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Secretaries and administrative assistants
395,200
$0$200K$36K
2.0%
General office clerks
356,600
$0$200K$33K
1.3%
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
188,400
$0$200K$38K
1.3%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
2.6%
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
1.3%
Accountants and auditors
143,000
$0$200K$60K
1.4%
Applications and systems software developers
118,900
$0$200K$96K
1.0%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
7.8%
Purchasing agents
23,900
$0$200K$53K
7.5%
Wholesale and retail buyers
13,500
$0$200K$42K
2.4%
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers
9,700
$0$200K$53K
1.1%
Procurement clerks
7,500
$0$200K$53K
2.1%
Purchasing managers
6,300
$0$200K$73K
38.4%
No occupation
4.9%
Read about purchasing managers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Purchasing managers and buyers and purchasing agents typically do the following:

  • Evaluate suppliers on the basis of the price, quality, and speed of delivery of their products and services
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers’ plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other information to determine reasonable prices
  • Negotiate contracts on behalf of their organization
  • Work out agreements with suppliers, such as when products will be delivered
  • Meet with staff and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action
  • Evaluate and monitor contracts to be sure that vendors and suppliers comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and to determine the need for changes
  • Maintain and review records of items bought, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories

In addition to these tasks, purchasing managers also plan and coordinate the work of buyers and purchasing agents and hire and train new staff.

Purchasing managers are also responsible for developing their organization’s procurement policies and procedures. These policies help ensure that procurement professionals are meeting ethical standards to avoid potential conflicts of interest or inappropriate supplier and customer relations.

Buyers and purchasing agents buy farm products, durable and nondurable goods, and services for organizations and institutions. They try to get the best deal for their organization: the highest quality goods and services at the lowest cost. They do this by studying sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identifying foreign and domestic suppliers, and keeping up to date with changes affecting both the supply of, and demand for, products and materials.

Purchasing agents and buyers consider price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support when choosing suppliers and merchandise. To be effective, purchasing agents and buyers must have a working technical knowledge of the goods or services they are purchasing.

Evaluating suppliers is one of the most critical functions of a buyer or purchasing agent. They ensure the supplies are ordered in time so that any delays in the supply chain does not shut down production and cause the organization to lose customers.

Buyers and purchasing agents use many resources to find out all they can about potential suppliers. They attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers.

They often interview prospective suppliers and visit their plants and distribution centers to assess their capabilities. For example, they may discuss the design of products with design engineers, quality concerns with production supervisors, or shipping issues with managers in the receiving department.

Buyers and purchasing agents must make certain that the supplier can deliver the desired goods or services on time, in the correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality. Once they have gathered information on suppliers, they sign contracts with suppliers who meet the organization’s needs and they place orders.

Buyers who purchase items to resell to customers may determine which products their organization will sell. They need to be able to predict what will appeal to their customers. If they are wrong, they could jeopardize the profits and reputation of their organization.

Buyers who work for large organizations often specialize in purchasing one or two categories of products or services. Buyers who work for smaller businesses or government agencies may be responsible for making a greater variety of purchases.

The following are examples of types of buyers and purchasing agents:

Purchasing agents and buyers of farm products buy agricultural products for further processing or resale. Examples of these products are grain, cotton, and tobacco.

Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products buy items for the operation of an organization. Examples of these items are chemicals and industrial equipment needed for a manufacturing establishment, and office supplies.

Wholesale and retail buyers purchase goods for resale to consumers. Examples of these goods are clothing and electronics. Purchasing specialists who buy finished goods for resale are commonly known as buyers or merchandise managers.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of purchasing managers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Analytical skills
When evaluating suppliers, purchasing managers and buyers and purchasing agents must analyze their options and choose a supplier with the best combination of price, quality, delivery, or service.
Decisionmaking skills
Purchasing managers and buyers and purchasing agents must have the ability to make informed and timely decisions, choosing products that they think will sell.
Math skills
Purchasing managers and buyers and purchasing agents must possess math skills. They must be able to compare prices from different suppliers to ensure that their organization is getting the best deal.
Negotiating skills
Purchasing managers and buyers and purchasing agents often must negotiate the terms of a contract with a supplier. Interpersonal skills and self-confidence, in addition to knowledge of the product, can help lead to successful negotiations.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for purchasing managers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for purchasing managers was higher than 96% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $119KAll jobs' median $39K$96K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for purchasing managers are anticipated to grow by 6% over the next decade; 57% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for purchasing managers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030050,000100,000150,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most purchasing managers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as purchasing managers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Purchasing Managers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.02.5
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where purchasing managers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for purchasing managers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for purchasing managers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Purchasing Managers to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which purchasing managers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.01.02.03.04.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Purchasing managers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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