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Become A Buyer

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Working As A Buyer

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $62,567

    Average Salary

What Does A Buyer Do

A buyer is any person who contracts to acquire an asset in return for some form of consideration.

How To Become A Buyer

Although a high school diploma may be sufficient for some positions, many employers require buyers and purchasing agents to have a bachelor’s degree. Most entry-level positions require some form of on-the-job training.

Education

Educational requirements usually vary with the size of the organization. Although a high school diploma may be enough at some organizations, many businesses require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. For many positions, a degree in business, finance, or supply management is sufficient.

For those interested in a career as a buyer or purchasing agent of farm products, a degree in agriculture, agriculture production, or animal science is often beneficial.

Training

Buyers and purchasing agents typically get on-the-job training for more than 1 year. During this time, they learn how to perform their basic duties, including monitoring inventory levels and negotiating with suppliers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There are several certifications available for buyers and purchasing agents. Although some employers require certification, many do not.

Most of these certifications involve oral or written exams and have education and work experience requirements.

The Institute for Supply Management offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) credential, which covers a wide scope of purchasing professional duties. To receive the CPSM credential, candidates must pass three exams and those with a bachelor’s degree must possess at least 3 years of relevant work experience while those without a bachelor’s degree must have at least 5 years of relevant work experience.

The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) certification. The CPP certification is valid for 5 years. Candidates must earn a certain number of professional development “points” to renew their certification. Candidates initially become eligible and can renew their certification through a combination of purchasing-related experience, education, and professional contributions (such as published articles or delivered speeches).

APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of relevant business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential. The credential is valid for 5 years. Candidates must also earn a certain number of professional development points to renew their certification.

The Next Level Purchasing Association offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification. Although there are no education or work experience requirements, applicants must complete six online courses and pass an SPSM exam. Certification is valid for 4 years. Candidates must complete 32 continuing education hours in procurement-related topics to recertify for an additional four-year period.

The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two certifications for workers in federal, state, and local government. The Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credential requires applicants to have earned at least an associate’s degree, possess at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, possess at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and complete additional training courses.

Those with the CPPB or the CPPO designation must renew their certification every 5 years by completing continuing education courses or attending procurement-related conferences or events.

The National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP), Institute for Public Procurement offers preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.

Advancement

An experienced purchasing agent or buyer may become an assistant purchasing manager before advancing to purchasing manager, supply manager, or director of materials management. Buyers and purchasing agents with extensive work experience can also advance to become the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for an organization.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. When evaluating suppliers, buyers and purchasing agents must analyze their options and choose a supplier with the best combination of price, quality, delivery, or service. 

Decisionmaking skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must have the ability to make informed and timely decisions, choosing products that they think will sell.

Math skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must possess basic math skills. They must be able to compare prices from different suppliers to ensure that their organization is getting the best deal. 

Negotiating skills. Buyers and purchasing agents often must negotiate the terms of a contract with a supplier. Interpersonal skills and self-confidence, in addition to knowledge of the product, can help lead to successful negotiations.

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37 Buyer jobs

L-3 National Security Solutions
Ashburn, VA
Buyer I

$62,566 Estimated

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Bethesda, MD
SUPERVISORY PROCUREMENT SPECIALIST (MP)

$64,322 Estimated

Aecom
Germantown, MD
Buyer II

$64,322 Estimated

DRS Technologies, Inc.
Arlington, VA
Program Buyer

$62,566 Estimated

Entegee
Dulles Town Center, VA
Buyer I - 61894527 - TV

$62,566 Estimated

University of Maryland University College
Adelphi, MD
Buyer I

$62,566 Estimated

Adventist Healthcare
Gaithersburg, MD
Buyer

$64,322 Estimated

Nestle Purina Petcare Company
Arlington, VA
Procurement Specialist (Beverage-Coffee / Cocoa)

$62,566 Estimated

General Dynamics Information Technology
Reston, VA
Procurement Specialist w Clearance

$62,566 Estimated

Fulcrum
Centreville, VA
Procurement Specialist / Buyer - Mid Level

$62,566 Estimated

Jacobs
Reston, VA
Buyer / Procurement Specialist *5K Sign On Bonus*

$62,566 Estimated

Aecom
Germantown, MD
Buyer II

$64,322 Estimated

Noblis
Washington, DC
Procurement Specialist

$62,566 Estimated

Chemring Sensors and Electronic Systems, Inc.
Dulles Town Center, VA
Buyer I

$62,566 Estimated

Raytheon
Sterling, VA
Principal Procurement Specialist

$62,566 Estimated

Caci International Inc.
Chantilly, VA
Program Control and Procurement Specialist

$62,566 Estimated

Marriott International, Inc.
Bethesda, MD
Purchasing Representative

$64,322 Estimated

University of Maryland University College
Adelphi, MD
Buyer I

$62,566 Estimated

Aecom
Germantown, MD
Buyer II

$64,322 Estimated

Marriott
Bethesda, MD
Purchasing Representative

$64,322 Estimated

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Real Buyer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Buyer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Union, NJ Aug 09, 2016 $175,000
Buyer III The TJX Companies, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 18, 2016 $135,000
Buyer III The TJX Companies, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Apr 08, 2016 $135,000
Procurement Specialist Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Aug 03, 2016 $124,530
Women's Buyer YVES Saint Laurent America, Inc. New York, NY Jan 15, 2016 $120,000
Buyer II The TJX Companies, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 19, 2016 $118,371
Buyer-Men's Shoes Urban Outfitters, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Jun 08, 2015 $115,000
Buyer, Women's Collection Calvin Klein, Inc. New York, NY May 09, 2016 $115,000
Buyer The TJX Companies, Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2015 $115,000
Advanced Purchasing Coordinator (Electronics) Automotive Lighting LLC Auburn Hills, MI Nov 15, 2016 $108,576
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Top Skills for A Buyer

OfficeSuppliesPurchaseOrdersNewVendorsSparePartsProceduresCustomerServiceRawMaterialsCostSavingsInventoryLevelsMROMRPBuyersLogisticsRFQSafetyInventoryControlCostReductionVendorRelationsERPInventoryManagement

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Top Buyer Skills

  1. Office Supplies
  2. Purchase Orders
  3. New Vendors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Order & manage all office supplies/equipment for California & Texas branch.
  • Maintained record of purchase orders using Oracle based software.
  • Research, identify, and recommend new product sources and new vendors.
  • Leased and rented heavy equipment, vehicles, and spare parts.
  • Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.

Top Buyer Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Buyer

  1. Us Foodservice
  2. National Oilwell Varco
  3. Whole Foods Market
  4. Aerotek
  5. Baker Hughes
  6. Raytheon
  7. Schlumberger
  8. Flextronics
  9. Storeroom Solutions Inc.
  10. MRO Software, Inc.
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Buyer Videos

Retail Buyer: Job Profile

Food Buyer: Job Profile

Career Advice on becoming an Art Buyer by Dawn N (Highlights)