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Merchandise Buyer Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a merchandise buyer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $22.81 an hour? That's $47,446 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 20% and produce 139,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Merchandise Buyer Do

There are certain skills that many merchandise buyers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a merchandise buyer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.5% of merchandise buyers included vendor relationships, while 8.1% of resumes included purchase orders, and 7.7% of resumes included customer service. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the merchandise buyer job title. But what industry to start with? Most merchandise buyers actually find jobs in the retail and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Merchandise Buyer

If you're interested in becoming a merchandise buyer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.8% of merchandise buyers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.8% of merchandise buyers have master's degrees. Even though most merchandise buyers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a merchandise buyer. When we researched the most common majors for a merchandise buyer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on merchandise buyer resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a merchandise buyer. In fact, many merchandise buyer jobs require experience in a role such as buyer. Meanwhile, many merchandise buyers also have previous career experience in roles such as store manager or assistant buyer.

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Average Salary
$47,446
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
20%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
9,777
Job Openings

Merchandise Buyer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Merchandise Buyer

Buyer
14.9 %

Top Careers After Merchandise Buyer

Buyer
12.2 %

Merchandise Buyer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Merchandise Buyer

Merchandise Buyers in America make an average salary of $47,446 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $60,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$47,446
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Bryn Athyn, PA
Salary Range39k - 62k$50k$49,839
Fairview, NJ
Salary Range39k - 62k$50k$49,652
West Bloomfield, MI
Salary Range36k - 57k$46k$45,684
New York, NY
Salary Range34k - 54k$43k$43,276
$34k
$62k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Merchandise Buyer
Merchandise Buyer
National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation
06/03/2021
06/03/2021
$90,00006/03/2021
$90,000
School Supplies, Medical and Graduation Merchandise Buyer-Bookstores-FIN Pro 2-Purchasing
School Supplies, Medical and Graduation Merchandise Buyer-Bookstores-FIN Pro 2-Purchasing
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
11/18/2020
11/18/2020
$50,00011/18/2020
$50,000
Buyer, Specialty Merchandise (Gifts)
Buyer, Specialty Merchandise (Gifts)
Marshall Retail Group
Marshall Retail Group
09/11/2020
09/11/2020
$55,00009/11/2020
$55,000
Merchandising Buyer
Merchandising Buyer
Trendly, Inc.
Trendly, Inc.
03/17/2020
03/17/2020
$55,00003/17/2020
$55,000
Merchandise Buyer
Merchandise Buyer
Randstad
Randstad
05/15/2019
05/15/2019
$43,82705/15/2019
$43,827
See More Recent Salaries

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Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Merchandise Buyer Demographics

Gender

female

59.0 %

male

36.7 %

unknown

4.2 %

Ethnicity

White

66.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.4 %

Black or African American

11.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.9 %

Chinese

7.7 %

French

5.8 %
See More Demographics

Merchandise Buyer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

62.8 %

Associate

16.7 %

Certificate

11.1 %

Top Colleges for Merchandise Buyers

1. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. University of Minnesota - Crookston

Crookston, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,822
Enrollment
1,834

7. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

8. University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,242
Enrollment
20,592

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

10. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Merchandise Buyer That You May Like

Inventory Management A-Z: Supply Chain & Business Operations
udemy
4.5
(518)

Inventory Management Basics: MBA beginners course to your optimize your Purchasing, Logistics, EOQ and Safety Stock...

Visual Merchandising Course For Retailers and Students
udemy
4.2
(767)

Learn the key principles of great Visual Merchandising & Window Dressing...

Fast Track Retail Buying and Merchandising
udemy
4.4
(1,636)

The essentials of merchandise management, buying, range planning, product development and many more...

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Top Skills For a Merchandise Buyer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.5% of merchandise buyers listed vendor relationships on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Vendor Relationships, 10.5%
  • Purchase Orders, 8.1%
  • Customer Service, 7.7%
  • Sales Goals, 7.3%
  • Inventory Levels, 4.8%
  • Other Skills, 61.6%
  • See All Merchandise Buyer Skills

Best States For a Merchandise Buyer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a merchandise buyer. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maine. Merchandise buyers make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $49,587. Whereas in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, they would average $49,344 and $49,105, respectively. While merchandise buyers would only make an average of $48,282 in Maine, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Pennsylvania

Total Merchandise Buyer Jobs:
340
Highest 10% Earn:
$75,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Merchandise Buyer Jobs:
58
Highest 10% Earn:
$69,000
Location Quotient:
1.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Michigan

Total Merchandise Buyer Jobs:
265
Highest 10% Earn:
$69,000
Location Quotient:
1.57
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Merchandise Buyer Employers

1. J. C. Penney
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$70,333
Merchandise Buyers Hired: 
18+
2. Whole Foods Market
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$45,026
Merchandise Buyers Hired: 
13+
3. Target
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$67,720
Merchandise Buyers Hired: 
13+
4. Sysco Minnesota
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$45,327
Merchandise Buyers Hired: 
12+
5. Sysco
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$40,791
Merchandise Buyers Hired: 
9+
6. Newegg
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$40,156
Merchandise Buyers Hired: 
9+

Merchandise Buyer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020