Purchasing/supply officers buy or supply equipment, materials and services at the best price and quality for an organisation.
Purchasing/supply officers usually earn
$45K-$110K per year
Purchasing/supply managers usually earn
$140K-$200K per year
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 2017.
Pay for people working in purchasing and supplies varies depending on their level of responsibility.
- Purchasing/supply officers may earn between $45,000 and $65,000 a year.
- Senior purchasing/supply officers usually earn between $70,000 and $110,000.
- Purchasing/supply managers and chief purchasing officers can earn between $140,000 and $200,000.
Depending on experience and ability, people may also get bonuses and other benefits such as a company car.
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 2017.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Purchasing/supply officers may do some or all of the following:
- work with staff and management to define their needs
- keep up to date with market trends in the industry in which they work
- research and identify new suppliers
- strategise communicating and working with suppliers for orders
- build relationships and negotiate prices with suppliers
- order and purchase goods and services that the business needs
- keep accurate records of payment and delivery of goods and services.
Skills and knowledge
Purchasing/supply officers need to have knowledge of:
- the organisation and industry they work for
- the specifications of the products they deal with
- procurement strategies
- the pricing and availability of products they deal with
- laws regarding contracts and buying and selling of goods and services, such as the Sale of Goods Act and Commerce Act
- electronic inventories.
- work normal business hours
- work in offices or sometimes in areas where the products they supply might be used
- may travel domestically or internationally to find suppliers.
What's the job really like?
Keeping the plant running
John Hawkes works in the largest sawmill in Australasia and it's his job to make sure that the plant can keep running. His responsibility is to ensure that if any part of the plant breaks down, there is a replacement available. He's in charge of sourcing, purchasing and tracking millions of dollars worth of highly specialised stock – and providing any part at a moment's notice.
"If it's an emergency they want something, they want it now, and they want to take it now!"
Satisfaction as systems deliver
And he's always been able to deliver. "We can always get a repair done. We've had no majors. We haven't stopped the mill because we haven't had a part."
"I find the whole job satisfying, the fact that there's a bit of dependency on me to do my job well and if I do my job well then things run smoothly. If you didn't do your job well you'd soon hear about it."
The strangest thing John has had to purchase? Wood. "We produce it in packet lots so you can't go and open up a packet because you need a piece of wood. We go off-site to buy our wood for any jobs on-site."
There are no specific entry requirements to become a purchasing/supply officer, however most employers require a tertiary qualification.
A tertiary qualification in procurement or purchasing and supply management can be useful.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a purchasing/supply officer. However, maths, accounting, chemistry, physics, technology and English to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.
Purchasing/supply officers need to be:
- good at communicating
- able to follow a budget
- good at planning and time management
- methodical and accurate, with an eye for detail
- good at negotiating
- able to work well under pressure.
You’ve got to be customer orientated, service orientated, have an eye for detail, be able to count, and to get on with all sorts of different people!
Useful experience for purchasing/procurement officers includes:
- customer service
- administrative work
- accounting or financial work
- work in stores and warehousing.
Find out more about training
- New Zealand Government Procurement
What are the chances of getting a job?
High demand for purchasing/supply officers
It is increasingly important for businesses to find the best deals, so the need for purchasing/supply officers is growing. There are currently more job vacancies than applicants, so the job is in high demand.
Industries with the strongest need for purchasing/supply officers are social and community, IT and communications, and construction and infrastructure.
Purchasing/supply officers may progress to work as procurement managers. This role appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled procurement managers from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to the Census, 15,447 purchasing/supply officers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Get into a graduate programme
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) run a procurement programme for graduates. This is an excellent way to enter the role. You can improve your chances by demonstrating good relationship-building skills.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website - information on the procurement graduate programme
Types of employers varied
Most medium to large organisations employ purchasing/supply officers to buys the goods needed for their organisation.
- Careers New Zealand research, April 2017.
- Gillespie, E, senior advisor – capability development, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2017.
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
- The Treasury, 'Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update', December 2016.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Purchasing/supply officers may progress to a management role such as procurement manager, or onto a senior leadership team.
They may specialise in a particular industry, such as IT and communications.
Last updated 18 September 2020