Purchasing Agent

Keep a company supplied with the materials and services it needs.
picture of Purchasing Agent

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$35,000 – $92,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Purchasing Agents do?

A Purchasing Agent has the seemingly enviable task of buying things using company money. But Purchasing Agents don’t simply go on a shopping spree every day, buying just anything. Instead, you get things like materials, tools, and services to help make your company run.

The things you buy can vary. For example, a company looking to physically expand might have a Purchasing Agent buying wood or heavy equipment. If you work for a manufacturing company, you buy materials and parts for the products that you sell. Or you might be buying the services of a cleaning company to keep the office building clean. In short, Purchasing Agents buy anything that your company uses.

Just as important as figuring out what needs to be bought is deciding when to buy it. You keep a close eye on inventory, number of orders, and the prices provided by suppliers. This way, you’re able to find out the best time to buy. On one hand, you don’t want to order too much of something in case it goes bad, becomes obsolete, or just isn’t wanted by customers. But on the other hand, you don’t want your company to not be able to meet demand.

You also want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal. Factors that determine this include the type of product you’re buying, the time of the year, product quality, and the reliability of your suppliers. In other words, one of your big job responsibilities is to make sure your company is running at its most efficient for the least amount of money.


Should I be a Purchasing Agent?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Equipment, Supplies, and Tools Purchasing Agent, Fuel Agent, General Purchasing Agent, Outside Property Agent See More

    How to become a Purchasing Agent

    Most Purchasing Agents have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aka9aa&chl=|certificate+%2815%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2885%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,85
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