Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
SOC: 13-1023.00


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

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
300,800 employed

Projected (2024):
299,300 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Area Field Person
  • Area Field Worker
  • Buyer
  • Contract Administrator
  • Contract Analyst
  • Contract Specialist
  • Contractor Buyer
  • Contracts Administrator
  • Contracts Manager
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Tools Purchasing Agent
  • Food Broker
  • Fuel Agent
  • Fuel Buyer
  • General Purchasing Agent
  • Import Coordinator
  • Jobber
  • Journeyman
  • Leaser
  • Log Buyer
  • Lumber Buyer
  • Media Buyer
  • Merchandiser
  • Ore Buyer
  • Outside Property Agent
  • Piece Jobber
  • Plant Buyer
  • Price Analyst
  • Print Buyer
  • Procurement Agent
  • Procurement Engineer
  • Procurement Specialist
  • Pulpwood Buyer
  • Pulpwood Contractor
  • Purchaser
  • Purchasing Administrator
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Purchasing Assistant
  • Purchasing Coordinator
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Purchasing Specialist
  • Radio Time Buyer
  • Railroad Purchasing Agent
  • Sourcing Specialist
  • Subcontract Administrator
  • Timber Buyer
  • Tools, Supplies, and Equipment Purchasing Agent
  • Traveling Buyer

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
  • Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services.
  • Research and evaluate suppliers based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history.
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
  • Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
  • Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
  • Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
  • Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
  • Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.
  • Maintain and review computerized or manual records of items purchased, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
  • Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
  • 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.
  • Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
  • Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased.
  • Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.
  • Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services.
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 10-key calculators
  • Desktop computers
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser facsimile machines
  • Multi-line telephone systems
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Photocopying equipment
  • Scanners
  • Tablet computers
  • Accounting software
  • Apple AppleWorks
  • Assured Software JPP
  • Choice Job Cost
  • Construction Management Software ProEst
  • Corel QuattroPro
  • Cost accounting software
  • Cost estimation software
  • CPR International GeneralCOST Estimator
  • CPR Visual Estimator
  • Data base reporting software
  • Data entry software
  • Dexter + Cheney Spectrum Construction Software
  • FileMaker Pro software
  • Financial analysis software
  • Galorath SEER-SEM
  • Google AdWords
  • IBM Costimater
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • IBM Notes
  • IBM Power Systems software
  • Infor ERP SyteLine
  • Intuit QuickBooks software
  • Inventory management system software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Great Plains software
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft SharePoint software
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Word
  • National Job Cost software
  • Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • Oracle PeopleSoft software
  • Resources Calculations Incorporated SoftCost
  • Sage 100 Contractor
  • SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports
  • SAP software
  • Softstar Costar COCOMO II
  • Software AG software
  • Web browser software
  • WinEstimator WinEst
  • Xactware Xactimate

  • business and financial operations

    industry stats

    SOC: 13-0000

    Total Employed: 7,032,560

    Average Annual Salary: $73,800