All About Purchasing Agents
Position Description Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.
Purchasing Agent Responsibilities
- Research and evaluate suppliers, based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier’s reputation and history.
- Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.
- Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time, and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
- Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
- Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
- Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
What a Purchasing Agent Should Know
Below is a list of the skills most Purchasing Agents say are important on the job.
Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Management of Financial Resources: Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Related Job Titles
- Fuel Agent
- Traveling Buyer
- Procurement Engineer
- Plant Buyer
- Area Field Worker
Are There Job Opportunities for Purchasing Agents?
In the United States, there were 309,400 jobs for Purchasing Agent in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Purchasing Agent. The BLS estimates 23,800 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Purchasing Agent are Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Tools & Technologies Used by Purchasing Agents
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Purchasing Agents may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- Microsoft Project
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft Visio
- Microsoft Dynamics
- IBM Notes
- Google Docs
- FileMaker Pro
- Intuit QuickBooks
- Oracle PeopleSoft
- Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
How to Become a Purchasing Agent
Education needed to be a Purchasing Agent:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Those thinking about becoming a Purchasing Agent might also be interested in the following careers:
Are you already one of the many Purchasing Agent in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
Image Credit: Nick Nijhuis via Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
More about our data sources and methodologies.
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|