What does a Purchasing Agent do?
Purchasing Agents are employed by organizations to locate potential products or materials for them to resell or to enhance their daily operations. They’ll typically spend time conducting extensive research on the best suppliers, services, goods, vendors and manufacturers to purchase from. Purchasing Agents will then use this research to find and maintain suppliers who are reliable, cost-efficient and produce quality products.
They’ll regularly monitor the organization’s inventory levels to help them understand their purchasing needs and schedule orders. Purchasing Agents typically work closely with suppliers and vendors to review cost proposals and negotiate prices and contracts. Once they’ve ordered products, Purchasing Agents are responsible for keeping and filing records of these purchase orders, contracts, receipts and transactions.
Purchasing Agent skills and qualifications
A Purchasing Agent should have the following skills and qualifications to be effective on the job:
- Negotiation skills
- Analytical skills
- Judgment and decision-making skills
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
Purchasing Agent salary expectations
A Purchasing Agent earns an average of $49,865 per year. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education and geographical location. Some Purchasing Agents can earn an average of $10,000 per year through commissions.
Purchasing Agent education and training requirements
Education requirements for Purchasing Agents vary widely depending on location and organization. Although some employers accept high school diplomas and GEDs, most prefer a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or a related field. Those entering the manufacturing industry often need a bachelor’s and even a master’s degree in engineering. In this circumstance, preference usually goes to those with advanced knowledge within the subject area. Further advancement in the field requires certification from the American Purchasing Society or a related entity.
Purchasing Agent experience requirements
Purchase Agents usually have around 2 to 3 years of experience as an entry-level Buyer before advancing to this position. Individuals earn their experience through internships, work study programs and entry-level positions. Industrial and manufacturing organizations provide plenty of internship opportunities for students. Moving on toward management positions sometimes requires 5 years of experience as a full-time Purchasing Agent. Some organizations may offer additional training as necessary for individuals fulfilling these roles.
Job description samples for similar positions
The role of a Purchasing Agent is versatile, but there are many similar positions. If this job description template isn’t what you’re looking for, see our job descriptions for these related positions: