What Do Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products, Do?
Purchasing agents play an important role in many different industries and especially within the industry of business and financial operations. These professionals are typically responsible for purchasing the equipment, supplies, and services necessary to maintain day-to-day operations. Additional responsibilities include:•Finding the best prices•Preparing purchase orders and soliciting bid proposals•Evaluating contract performance•Interviewing vendors•Attending meetings and networkingTrends throughout the United States show a possible 3% increase in position availability. Numbers may vary between states; California, for example, shows a projection of a 7% increase.
Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products Skills and Abilities
There are several specific skill sets that you should acquire to enter this field. These skills include:
- Actively listening to what others say
- Understanding written communication, in print or digital form, and communicating through writing
- Managing financial resources
- Using logic and reason to determine the best solution to a problem
- Managing financial resources There are also some areas of knowledge that will improve your ability to do your job. Become familiar with subjects such as:
- Financial Content of the English Language
- Economics and Accounting
- Administrative Principles
- Legal Procedures and Government Regulations
- Customer Service
Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products Duties
As a purchasing agent, you may be responsible to analyze financial data and market conditions, to conduct selection interviews, and to develop technical specifications for systems used in the workplace. You might hold an important role in establishing policies and creating guidelines. It will be part of your job to execute financial transactions after verifying that they will be the most appropriate for your business.Other tasks that are common to most companies include:
- Gathering information from all pertinent sources
- Sharing relevant information with subordinates, co-workers, and supervisors as necessary
- Using a computer, computer systems, software, and hardware, possibly writing software
- Representing the company during communications with customers, suppliers, and other sources
- Maintaining beneficial networks resulting in constructive working relationships with other companies and peers
Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products Tools and Technology
Purchasing agents use a variety of tools as they complete their responsibilities and fulfill their duties. It’s important that you are familiar and comfortable with computers, as well as 10-key calculators and laser fax machines. You will be expected to use many software systems, such as:
- Accounting software of many types
- Analytical software relevant to your business
- Enterprise resource software (ERP software) and the systems that support it
- Financial software such as cost estimation and financial analysis solutions
- Software that you have developed to complete or simplify your duties
Education and Training for Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
Most purchasing agents have earned a Bachelor’s degree. A small percentage of purchasing agents have a Master’s degree. A high school diploma, or its equivalent, is necessary to enter this field. You can expect to receive on-the-job-training for a long time after earning a position.
Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products Salary
There’s a big range in salary for purchasing agents, depending on which state you live in and the amount of experience you have. The base salary across the US hangs around $37,200 yearly and the top-earning 10% enjoy about $97,900. The median salary is a comfortable $61,000 a year.
Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products by Geography
It’s natural to see large numbers of positions in states with high populations, such as Texas, California, New York, and Florida. Other states with similar numbers include Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Michigan. As you consider your options, keep in mind that the areas with the highest paid positions are the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and Alaska.