Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products

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About the Job

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

It is also Called

  • Traveling Buyer
  • Tools, Supplies, and Equipment Purchasing Agent
  • Timber Buyer
  • Subcontract Administrator
  • Sourcing Specialist
  • Railroad Purchasing Agent
  • Radio Time Buyer
  • Purchasing Specialist
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Purchasing Coordinator
View All

What They Do

  • Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.
  • Arrange the payment of duty and freight charges.
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices.
  • Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies.
  • Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
  • Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.
  • Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
  • Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
  • Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time, and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
  • Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: CE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Conventional interests, but also prefer Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Working Conditions, but also value Relationships and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

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

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $64,990 with most people making between $40,020 and $97,790

Outlook

0.22%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 13,900 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 14,200 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 30 openings due to growth and about 380 replacement openings for approximately 410 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education