Supply Chain Excellence – Purchasing Officer

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast series profiles roles within the Supply Chain job family, including jobs in demand, wages, and employment prospects. The role of Purchasing Officer is in the spotlight this week.

Purpose of the Role

Purchasing Officers ensure inventory levels are maintained by purchasing general and specialised equipment or materials for use or further processing by their company. Additionally, they can be responsible for purchasing services that are used as part of a business’s daily operations. Purchasing Officers receive and review the forecast from Demand Planners for the materials and equipment that needs to be purchased. 

Larger companies tend to diversify their purchasing function more so than SMEs and generally have Purchasing Officers that are category-specific. Whereas smaller companies may have one person who purchases everything. Purchasing Officers work with the purchasing of direct goods (e.g. raw materials, packaging) and indirect goods (e.g. electricity, water etc). 

Purchasing Officers primarily work with suppliers that have already been sourced and had contracts negotiated by someone within procurement. Purchasing Officers have dealings with suppliers in and around the raising of purchasing orders. Although a Purchasing Officer does not typically source or negotiate conditions in contracts with suppliers, they are often involved in supplier performance evaluations or conducting supplier market research. 

Purchasing Officers can also establish the logistics of delivery post purchase orders being made. This will see them monitor the movement of goods from the supplier through to receipt of goods into the warehouse or to the customer.  


A standard route is to gain a tertiary qualification with a supply chain specialisation. 

Those already working often opt to study and can upskill themselves through NZPICS, an organisation that prides itself on learning and development opportunities that bring out the best in supply chain professionals in New Zealand. 

Gaining a qualification demonstrates a commitment to higher learning that is acknowledged by many employers and will give candidates an additional edge. 

Key Skills Required

Strong analytical capability and the ability to work well with ERP systems, Microsoft Excel and data 

The ability to work under pressure, high levels of organisation and the ability to prioritise  

Solutions orientated, quick to troubleshoot and a good team player as there are many stakeholders to liaise with around the movements of goods 

Willingness to acquire product-specific knowledge 

Excellent communications skills as a liaison with internal and external stakeholders is essential

Career Prospects

We see candidates who work their way up to a job such as a Purchasing Officer post working in the likes of a warehousing or administrative-based role. 

Career progression can see Purchasing Officers move into a range of different roles within the supply chain or operations space. 

Purchasing Officer career progression could see individuals move into a Purchasing Manager role or procurement role where the focus becomes less transactional and more strategic. Strategic procurement involves creative sourcing, negotiation of contracts and managing supplier performance. 

Individuals moving into a team leadership or supervisory role can expect to move into a salaried role. Depending upon the size of the organisation and the maintenance team being led, the salary would be in the region of $120,000 to $130,000. As a Head of Engineering, you can expect to be looking at upwards of $140,000. 

Recruitment Forecast

Post covid most companies were having to rework how they can service the demand having to change or find additional suppliers for their raw materials, which meant Purchasing Officers were having to be across more suppliers and logistic movements. Today, most companies are now finding themselves with excess stock and inventory issues. There is a push for more visibility and increased technology across the supply chain, which will support the purchasing function. Candidates who are systems savvy will do well in purchasing roles. 

There is also a strong focus on sustainability within the supply chain meaning Purchasing Officers will work closely with their suppliers to ensure sustainable procurement excellence is continued through ongoing supplier evaluation and management. This is likely to mean further upskilling for candidates in purchasing roles. 

Salary Guide

This information is anecdotal and based on roles Hunter Campbell is currently recruiting or has previously recruited and relate to base salaries. They do not include any additional bonuses or benefits. 

Junior: $55,000 – $70,000 

Intermediate: $70,000 – $75,000 

Advanced: $80,000 – $90,000 

Salaries of Purchasing Officers like most roles have increased over the last 12 months, although they are now stabilising. Salaries are dependent on the level of experience and the responsibilities within a role. 

If you would like to find out more about the role of Purchasing Officer, please contact Senior Consultant Wayne Fry. Wayne specialises in the recruitment of Supply Chain, Procurement & Operations roles. For more news and views visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

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