How to Become a Purchasing Agent

Purchasing Agents are professionals that typically work in the manufacturing and wholesale trade industries.

They are responsible for purchasing a variety of products for their company to use or resell.

They are the individuals who are responsible for stocking retails stores with merchandise for sale to the public.

Individuals who want to become a Purchasing Agent will need the ability to negotiate to help reduce price, have analytical skills that help them determine the kind of inventory their store needs and have strong mathematical skills to help them compare prices from different suppliers.

Education Requirements to Become a Purchasing Agent

Individuals who want to become a Purchasing Agent can expect different educational requirements depending on the company they are seeking work in.

Larger organizations typically seek individuals who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree while smaller organizations seek candidates with a minimum of a high school diploma and who is willing to receive on the job training.

However, all individuals are encouraged to have basic mathematical skills since basic math is used on a regular basis to perform the duties for this profession.

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In addition, individuals are encouraged to seek a license which creates stronger job prospects.

Individuals pursuing an undergraduate degree are encouraged to strengthen their mathematical skills that will help them become a Purchasing Agent.

Organizations seeking candidates with a degree will look for individuals who have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in engineering, economics, business or one of the applied sciences.

Purchasing Agent Job Description

Purchasing Agents are individuals who are experienced in purchasing a variety of products and merchandise on behalf of their client or organizations from wholesale providers.

The merchandise and products will then be resold directly to consumers.

In order to benefit the client and lower costs, Purchasing Agents will need to compare suppliers and their prices, ensure that the products they purchase are of high quality and negotiate prices and contracts with the suppliers.

Purchasing Agents will research suppliers and look at a variety of things in order to choose one.

They will look at price, delivery speed and quality in order to make a decision on a supplier.

They will also interview suppliers, visit their distribution centers and review the type of services and products they hold.

Purchasing Agents will attend trade shows, conferences and meetings to learn about new suppliers.

Attending these types of events will help these professionals learn industry trends, new products and make new contacts with other suppliers.

Purchasing Agents will receive proposals and analyze them to compare costs and negotiate contracts to receive the best price.

After deciding on a supplier, Purchasing Agents will work on creating an agreement with a supplier which includes delivery dates and quantities.

They will monitor the delivery of goods to determine whether the specifics of the contract are being met and communicate with suppliers in case there are any defective items or if the products were not delivered on time.

Purchasing Agent Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median annual salary for Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents was approximately $60,550 per year.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including level of experience and the type of merchandise being managed.

For example, Purchasing Agents handling farm products can expect a median salary of approximately $55,720 per year while those handling other merchandise can expect a yearly salary of approximately $58,760.

The job outlook for Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents is expected to grow by 4 percent through the year 2022, much slower when compared to other professions.

However, this projection takes into consideration the expected growth for all industries and professions; jobs for Purchasing Agents handling farm products are expected to increase by 6 percent while other Purchasing Agents can expect a 3 percent growth through this timeframe.

Exact will growth will eventually be affected by the strength of the economy and demand for consumer goods.

Individuals pursuing a career as a Purchasing Agent can expect to use a variety of skills in this trade including negotiating skills, working with people, using mathematics on a daily basis and assuring they get the best deals when purchasing merchandise for their employer or client.

A successful Purchasing Manager will also work on getting the best deals to help their organization lower their costs.

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