Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products

Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.

Median Annual Wage: $60,980

Education: Bachelor's degree (85%); Post-secondary certificate (10%); Some college, no degree (5%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Buyer; Purchasing Agent; Procurement Specialist; Purchasing Manager; Purchasing Administrator

Browse Job Listings

Browse Schools

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products.

More Business and Financial Operations Careers

  • Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
  • Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
  • Research and evaluate suppliers based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history.
  • Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
  • Maintain and review computerized or manual records of items purchased, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
  • Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased.
  • Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services.
  • Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.
  • Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
  • Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
  • Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
  • Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.
  • Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
  • Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies.
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices.
  • Arrange the payment of duty and freight charges.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products.

  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Management of Financial Resources - Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products.

Search Local Job Listings