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Career and Education Opportunities for Purchasing Managers in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for purchasing managers in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. There are currently 2,150 working purchasing managers in Massachusetts; this should shrink 1% to 2,130 working purchasing managers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for purchasing managers are expected to grow by about 1.5%. Purchasing managers generally plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.

The income of a purchasing manager is about $48 per hour or $99,920 yearly on average in Massachusetts. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $42 hourly or $89,160 yearly on average. Earnings for purchasing managers are better than earnings in the general category of Specialized Management in Massachusetts and better than general Specialized Management category earnings nationally. Purchasing managers work in a variety of jobs, including: circuit walker, merchandise director, and buyer.

The Cambridge area is home to 149 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree as a purchasing manager. Given that the most common education level for purchasing managers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a purchasing manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Purchasing Manager

Purchasing Manager video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, purchasing managers plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.

Purchasing managers manage disposal of surplus materials. They also control purchasing department budgets. Equally important, purchasing managers have to resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers. They are often called upon to analyze market and delivery systems to gauge present and future material availability. They are expected to participate in the development of requirements for equipment, products or substitute materials. Finally, purchasing managers represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.

Every day, purchasing managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for purchasing managers to maintain records of goods ordered and received. They are often called upon to administer online purchasing systems. They also ready bid awards requiring board approval. They are sometimes expected to interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training. Somewhat less frequently, purchasing managers are also expected to design and implement purchasing and contract management instructions and procedures.

Purchasing managers sometimes are asked to ready reports regarding market conditions and products costs. And finally, they sometimes have to represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.

Like many other jobs, purchasing managers must have exceptional integrity and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cambridge include:

  • Banking Manager. Direct and coordinate financial activities of workers in a branch, office, or department of an establishment, such as branch bank, brokerage firm, risk and insurance department, or credit department.
  • Chief Executive Officer. Determine and formulate policies and provide the overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within the guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
  • Construction Foreman. Plan, direct, or budget, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, and implementation.
  • Legislator. Develop laws and statutes at the Federal, State, or local level.
  • Natural Resources Specialist. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, and research and development in these fields.
  • Property Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate selling, buying, or governance activities of commercial, industrial, or residential real estate properties.
  • Shipping Receiving Manager. Plan, direct, and coordinate the storage and distribution operations within an organization or the activities of organizations that are engaged in storing and distributing materials and products.
  • Social Service Coordinator. Plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. Oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits. Work may involve directing social workers, counselors, or probation officers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Purchasing Manager Training

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has an associate's degree program in Purchasing, Procurement/Acquisitions & Contracts Management.


Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Certified Federal Contracts Manager: Eligibility for the CFCM requires a candidate to have.

For more information, see the National Contract Management Association website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional: The Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) program is a new industry educational and certification program created to meet the rapidly changing needs of the supply chain management field.

For more information, see the The Association for Operations Management website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.