Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 439,000 people employed as buyers and purchasing agents in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $66,700.
Entry level employees earn approximately $39,810 per year and senior employees earn approximately $112,170
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
- Maintain and review computerized or manual records of purchased items, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
- Research and evaluate suppliers, based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history.
- 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.
- Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time, and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
- Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies.
- Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased.
- Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
- Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.
- 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.
- Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.
- Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
- Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services.
- Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
- Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
- Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
- Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services.