How to Become a Purchasing Officer in South Africa: Qualifications, Jobs and Salary

Purchasing Officers are responsible for preparing and processing orders for various goods and services.
Also, they should monitor and maintain stock levels while coordinating the flow of materials among departments.
Lastly, they have to supply sources and coordinate storage and distribution operations within organisations.

A Purchasing Manager requires a solid set of skills and qualifications that result from mandatory Purchasing Officer courses and apprenticeships.
Proper learning and training provide future professionals with essential knowledge of how to manage purchasing and supply relationships

Purchasing Manager jobs in South Africa pay a reliable salary.
This specialization comes with essential benefits and good prospects for qualified labourers. Furthermore, they can apply for Purchasing Officer positions in various sectors, such as large companies and manufacturers.

Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority

About the accreditation, courses & Seta


Seta Code: 2019-643201

NQF Levels: NQF 4    

SAQA Code:

64409 - National Certificate 

94182   - Occupational Certificate

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Purchasing Officer?

Purchasing Officers must have an excellent understanding of business administration. Their ability to negotiate low prices with suppliers and maintain profitable, long-term business relationships is vital for any organization.

To work as a Purchasing Manager, one must have a Matric Grade 9 certificate confirming the completion of the studies period. Some employers may require higher certifications. Registered operators in this field have to gain their skills and knowledge from short courses and training before they are eligible to earn an entry-level salary.

The job of a Purchasing Officer in South Africa is part of the MerSETA (Manufacturing Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority) environment. 

To be able to apply for this position, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
  • Possess outstanding knowledge of business, negotiation tactics, and trade.
  • Have a national certificate that shows you have completed Purchasing Manager courses.

Besides these mandatory qualifications, a Purchasing Officer must also prove the following traits:

  • Be physically fit to work in various organizational environments.
  • Be mentally strong to handle the pressure that comes from everyday trade.
  • Be able to work for long hours.
  • Enjoy haggling and other negotiation tactics.
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of business and trade.
  • Be able to complete purchase reports.
  • Have a strong sense of practicality.
  • Be willing and able to travel to various workplaces and organizations.

According to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), having a Purchasing Officer job also implies these requirements:

  • An in-depth understanding of health and safety compliance rules in the workplace.
  • Have above-average mathematical, accounting, and computer abilities.
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Be precise and reliable.
  • Show confidence, persuasiveness, and resilience.
  • Negotiate in a tactful but decisive manner.
  • The ability to work well with others.
  • A great set of communication skills.
  • Be proficient in speech and writing.
  • Be analytically-orientated.
  • Be able to recognize and take advantage of unique business opportunities.

What is a Purchasing Manager’s Job?

Expert Purchasing Officers have a broad range of mathematical, computing, and communication abilities, which they gain from study and hands-on experience.

Purchasing Officers use their knowledge and skills to estimate supply needs for an organization. Also, they have to search and find the best possible business solution for meeting those requirements. Above all, they have to develop favourable purchase contracts that help the organization thrive in the long run.

Being a purchasing manager comes with very few occupational hazards and dangers. Such professionals may have to travel to various organizations and face real logistics issues. Therefore, they require a high level of personal awareness and common sense besides professional knowledge.

A Purchasing Officer’s main duties include:

  • Procure, negotiate, and contract for necessary supplies, goods, and materials.
  • Monitor inventory and purchases while evaluating vendors.
  • Determine hazard risks in trade for an organization.
  • Helping workplaces improve their supplies at the lowest possible cost.
  • Request quotes, solicit bids and evaluate results to select the appropriate vendors.
  • Work with vendors and suppliers to meet demands and ensure long-term trading.
  • Training other Purchasing managers.

After finishing Purchasing Officer courses and four years as an apprentice, one can begin a career as a drafter in sectors like:

  • Government departments
  • Municipalities
  • Large companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Suppliers and distributors
  • Private firms

How Much Does a Purchasing Officer Earn in a Year?

A proper set of trading and negotiating skills together with the obligatory Purchasing Officer studies can help a professional earn an above-average salary in South Africa.

At the moment, the average hourly pay for Purchasing managers is R113. Depending on your level of abilities and experience, you can earn between R75 and R244 per hour.
In addition, you may also receive a bonus ranging between R1,000 and R18,000 for an entire year.

As a student or apprentice, you may earn only the minimum rate at first. However, in time, you can earn an average of R235,832 per year.
The most that you can make within 12 months of working as a Purchasing Officer in South Africa is R838k, which is well above the average wage.

How to Work as a Purchasing Officer in South Africa

South Africa has a broad market for Purchasing Officer jobs.
There is substantial demand for such professionals in several industries and sectors, with more than 290 listings currently available. Candidates that meet the mandatory qualifications and expert skills have several directories available to apply for this specialization.

Purchasing manager Courses give you an in-depth understanding of what this vocation requires.
They help you acquire skills and experience that are impossible to obtain through other learning methods.
By having a certificate that proves you had training in the field, you have an immediate advantage over other candidates for the same job. 

Working as a Purchasing Officer in South Africa gives you the freedom to pick a field of work from numerous industries and job sites. Additionally, with enough experience and knowledge, you can start your trading business and practise the trade privately.

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