How can I become a Purchasing Director?

Acquisition is the process of selecting suppliers and signing contracts for the purchase of goods and services by a company.

A purchasing director is a company executive responsible for managing the purchases of supplies, equipment, raw materials and products needed in manufacturing, office and retail. A trader must conduct extensive economic research about a company and an industry to make purchasing decisions. An individual who wants to become a director of purchasing usually needs to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher in business administration or economics, gain business experience by working in other positions, and pursue credentials offered by national supply management organizations.

A purchasing director usually has extensive hands-on experience in the field.

A college student who believes he wants to become a director of purchasing may apply to a four-year bachelor’s degree program at an accredited university or college. Most undergraduates choose to major in economics, finance, accounting or business administration to prepare for executive careers in purchasing and distributing goods. Students often seek employment with various companies as clerks or office workers to learn more about running a business and begin building their business resumes.

A purchasing director must conduct extensive economic research on an industry to make purchasing decisions.

An individual may be able to become a director of purchasing after earning a bachelor’s degree and spending several years advancing in a corporation, but most hopeful executives choose to pursue advanced degrees. Students enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs generally take many in-depth courses in economics, business management, statistics, mathematics, and communications. Many business schools help students find internships in office buildings and factories to better prepare them for their future careers.

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Upon graduation, most prospective purchasing directors are able to find employment as entry-level clerks or office managers, where they gain first-hand experience dealing with co-workers, bosses, clients, and business clients. A worker who wants to become a purchasing director often tries to obtain positions in human resources and supply management within a company in order to gain experience in handling financial matters and in purchasing materials and merchandise. With enough time with the company and proven skills, an experienced worker may be able to progress through the corporation and eventually become a director of purchasing.

Novice purchasing officers can benefit from acquiring certification credentials from nationally recognized business organizations. In the United States, a new or hopeful director of purchasing can take a written exam administered by the Institute for Supply Management to prove their knowledge of purchasing procedures, regulations, and strategies. Many other countries have national boards similar to the Institute of Supply Management that issue credentials to successful purchasing directors.

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