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Career and Education Opportunities for Purchasing Managers in Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for purchasing managers. The national trend for purchasing managers sees this job pool growing by about 1.5% over the next eight years. Purchasing managers generally plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.

Purchasing managers earn about $50 hourly or $104,700 yearly on average in Virginia and about $42 hourly or $89,160 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Management, people working as purchasing managers in Virginia earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Specialized Management nationally. People working as purchasing managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: division merchandise manager , supply chain manager, and procurement manager.

The Alexandria area is home to eighty-four schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Alexandria 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 studying to be 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 Alexandria 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

Potomac College - Herndon, VA

Potomac College, 1029 Herndon Pkwy, Herndon, VA 20170. Potomac College is a small college located in Herndon, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 83 students. Potomac College has a bachelor's degree program in Purchasing, Procurement/Acquisitions & Contracts Management.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Purchasing, Procurement/Acquisitions & Contracts Management which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Strayer University - Washington, DC

Strayer University, 1133 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005. Strayer University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 41,565 students. Strayer University has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Purchasing, Procurement/Acquisitions & Contracts Management which graduated two and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

Potomac College - Washington, DC

Potomac College, 4000 Chesapeake St NW, Washington, DC 20016. Potomac College is a small college located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 374 students. Potomac College has a bachelor's degree program in Purchasing, Procurement/Acquisitions & Contracts Management.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Purchasing, Procurement/Acquisitions & Contracts Management which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia photo by SchuminWeb

Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.

Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.