Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Afra Ronayne from ESB to give some advice for people considering this job:


Afra Ronayne

Mechanical Engineer


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  Afra Ronayne
I would advise somebody considering this job to talk to people who are engineers already. They should try to talk to people working in different areas of engineering as even when people do the same degree they can have very different day to day jobs, from full time office based jobs to full time site based jobs.

Also it is important to remember that even if you complete an engineering degree you are not limited to a purely technical career as there are plenty of other areas you can get involved in like project management or finance.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Occupation Details

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Purchasing Manager - Retail

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€33k > 160 
Purchasing Staff
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€33 - 160 
Related Information:
Buyer: 33 - 50
Purchasing Specialist: 35 - 45
Purchasing Manager: 60 - 85
Purchasing Director: 90 - 160
Data Source(s):
Brightwater / CPL / Hudson / Lincoln

Last Updated: February, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Plans, directs, or coordinates the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.

The Work header image

Retail buyers buy goods from importers, manufacturers, growers, wholesalers and fashion houses etc, to sell at a profit. They attend trade and/or fashion shows, visit warehouses and see representatives who call with samples and catalogues. In some cases, they make business trips overseas. Buyers also have a crucial role in product development, talking to manufacturers or designers about possible new lines.  
The success of the business depends on the buyer getting the right goods, at the right price, to the right place, at the right time. To do this, they must keep to their budget and work out whether the goods will sell once the firm's mark-up is added to the cost price. They take into consideration store policy, public demand and the economic situation. Data from sales outlets must be scrutinised and past sales figures analysed.  
Buyers have to anticipate trends, find new sources of supply, and negotiate with suppliers. They discuss contracts, arrange delivery dates so that goods arrive on time and warehouses are not overstocked, and then monitor the profitability of merchandise.  
In large stores, there may be a team of retail buyers who specialise in specific areas or departments. A retail buyer can specialise in specific products in smaller outlets in areas such as Fashion, Wines and Spirits etc. 

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.


Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.


Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.


Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales.


Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.


Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.


Maintain records of goods ordered and received.


Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products or substitute materials.


Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.


Resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others:  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates:  Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization:  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Monitoring and Controlling Resources:  Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.


Coaching and Developing Others:  Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.


Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Law and Government:  Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Persuasion:   Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Management of Financial Resources:   Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.


Negotiation:   Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Management of Personnel Resources:   Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To become a buyer, you must be numerate and have good written and spoken skills. You should enjoy working with people. In fashion buying, in particular, you must be able to anticipate trends. The ability to use and understand computer programs is becoming increasingly important. You must be able to negotiate and communicate effectively with existing or prospective clients. You also need to be able to make decisive decisions.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Purchasing Manager - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Purchasing Manager - from:  YouTube Video
Go..Purchasing Manager - from:  YouTube Video

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management
  Address: 17, Lower Mount St., Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 644 9660
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Sales, Retail & Purchasing

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