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Become A Procurement Buyer

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Working As A Procurement 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

  • $53,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Procurement Buyer Do

Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products.

Duties

Buyers and purchasing agents typically do the following:

  • Evaluate suppliers on the basis of the price, quality, and speed of delivery of their products and services
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers’ plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other information to determine reasonable prices
  • Negotiate contracts on behalf of their organization
  • Work out agreements with suppliers, such as when products will be delivered
  • Meet with staff and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action
  • Evaluate and monitor contracts to be sure that vendors and supplies comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and to determine the need for changes
  • Maintain and review records of items bought, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories

Buyers and purchasing agents buy farm products, durable and nondurable goods, and services for organizations and institutions. They try to get the best deal for their organization: the highest quality goods and services at the lowest cost. They do this by studying sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identifying foreign and domestic suppliers, and keeping up to date with changes affecting both the supply of, and demand for, products and materials.

Purchasing agents and buyers consider price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support when choosing suppliers and merchandise. To be effective, purchasing agents and buyers must have a working technical knowledge of the goods or services they are purchasing.

Evaluating suppliers is one of the most critical functions of a buyer or purchasing agent. Many organizations run on a lean manufacturing schedule and use just-in-time inventories, so any delays in the supply chain can shut down production and cause the organization to lose customers.

Buyers and purchasing agents use many resources to find out all they can about potential suppliers. They attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers.

They often interview prospective suppliers and visit their plants and distribution centers to assess their capabilities. For example, they may discuss the design of products with design engineers, quality concerns with production supervisors, or shipping issues with managers in the receiving department.

Buyers and purchasing agents must make certain that the supplier can deliver the desired goods or services on time, in the correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality. Once they have gathered information on suppliers, they sign contracts with suppliers who meet the organization’s needs and they place orders.

Buyers who purchase items to resell to customers may determine which products their organization will sell. They need to be able to predict what will appeal to their customers. If they are wrong, they could jeopardize the profits and reputation of their organization.

Buyers who work for large organizations often specialize in purchasing one or two categories of products or services. Buyers who work for smaller businesses or government agencies may be responsible for making a greater variety of purchases.

Wholesale and retail buyers purchase goods for resale to consumers. Examples of these goods are clothing and electronics. Purchasing specialists who buy finished goods for resale are commonly known as buyers or merchandise managers.

Purchasing agents and buyers of farm products buy agricultural products for further processing or resale. Examples of these products are grain, cotton, and tobacco.

Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products buy items for the operation of an organization. Examples of these items are chemicals and industrial equipment needed for a manufacturing establishment, and office supplies.

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How To Become A Procurement 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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Procurement Buyer Career Paths

Procurement Buyer
Senior Buyer Purchasing Manager
Senior Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Buyer Material Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Sourcing Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Buyer Material Manager
Materials Director
12 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Operations Manager Vice President
Supply Chain Vice President
17 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Supply Chain Manager
Director Of Supply Chain Management
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Program Manager Supply Chain Manager
Global Supply Chain Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Procurement Agent Material Manager
Materials Planning Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Procurement Agent Supply Chain Manager Category Manager
Senior Category Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Procurement Agent Subcontract Administrator
Subcontracts Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Contracts Manager Director, Procurement
Director Of Strategic Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Procurement Analyst Senior Purchasing Agent
Senior Manager, Procurement
11 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Senior Purchasing Agent Director Of Purchasing
Director Of Global Sourcing
14 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Business Manager Contracts Manager
Project Procurement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Managing Director Director, Procurement
Director Of Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Purchasing Agent Supply Manager
Global Supply Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Buyer Purchasing Agent
Manager Of Purchasing & Materials
10 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Buyer Buyer Supply Chain Specialist
Materials Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Subcontract Administrator Senior Manager, Procurement
Global Procurement Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Procurement Buyer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Buyer 5.4 years
Purchasing Buyer 4.7 years
Purchasing Agent 4.3 years
Plant Buyer 4.1 years
Planner/Buyer 4.0 years
Buyer 4.0 years
Procurement Buyer 4.0 years
Technical Buyer 3.7 years
Buyer/Expeditor 3.6 years
Buyer Lead 3.6 years
Buying Analyst 3.4 years
Strategic Buyer 3.4 years
Procurement Agent 3.2 years
Junior Buyer/Buyer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Procurement Buyer
Buyer 23.4%
Internship 4.1%
Assistant 3.2%
Cashier 3.2%
Manager 2.5%
Top Careers After Procurement Buyer
Buyer 20.6%
Senior Buyer 13.9%
Manager 2.2%
Consultant 2.0%

Do you work as a Procurement Buyer?

Average Yearly Salary
$53,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
American National
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Procurement Buyer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Procurement Buyer in the United States is $53,976 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $91,000.

Real Procurement Buyer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Regional Category Buyer-Direct Procurement, Americas Styrolution America LLC Aurora, IL Sep 03, 2015 $94,050
Supply Chain Procurement Buyer Stage 2 Contract Engineering, LLC Farmington Hills, MI Dec 05, 2013 $80,000
Supply Chain Procurement Buyer Stage 2 Contract Engineering, LLC Farmington Hills, MI Sep 19, 2013 $80,000
Direct Prodcurement Buyer Yanfeng Us Automotive Interior Systems I LLC Holland, MI Feb 12, 2015 $63,149 -
$93,600
Direct Prodcurement Buyer Yanfeng Us Automotive Interior Systems I LLC Holland, MI Dec 02, 2015 $63,149 -
$93,600
Direct Procurement Buyer Yanfeng Us Automotive Interior Systems I LLC Holland, MI Oct 20, 2015 $62,400 -
$93,600
Buyer, Procurement and Sourcing NB Ventures DBA Global Eprocure Clark, NJ Sep 17, 2015 $59,363
Associate Pecan Procurement Buyer John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. Selma, TX Jun 12, 2011 $55,000
Associate Pecan Procurement Buyer John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. Selma, TX Sep 15, 2011 $55,000
Buyer-Procurement and Outsourcing NB Ventures, Inc. Battle Creek, MI Oct 01, 2012 $54,000
Buyer-Procurement and Outsourcing NB Ventures, Inc. D/B/A Global Eprocure Battle Creek, MI Oct 01, 2012 $54,000
Buyer-Procurement and Sourcing NB Ventures, Inc. D/B/A Global Eprocure Battle Creek, MI Mar 19, 2012 $54,000

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Top Skills for A Procurement Buyer

  1. Supplier Relationships
  2. Purchase Orders
  3. New Vendors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Researched, qualified and developed potential and current supplier relationships.
  • Streamlined and simplified the management of the Copier/Printer Program by successfully combining numerous purchase orders into 5 separate agreements.
  • Establish new vendors through negotiating contracts for start up o Ensure on time delivery of all inventory and supplies.
  • Engaged Global and North American Procurement teams to identify and capture cost savings opportunities by leveraging procurement synergies.
  • Initiated the execution of purchase orders, resolution of invoice issues, and data management of suppliers.

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Top 10 Best States for Procurement Buyers

  1. Rhode Island
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Michigan
  4. Virginia
  5. Connecticut
  6. New Jersey
  7. Minnesota
  8. Ohio
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Georgia
  • (21 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (179 jobs)
  • (147 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (166 jobs)

Procurement Buyer Demographics

Gender

Female

48.3%

Male

40.0%

Unknown

11.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Hispanic or Latino

17.6%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.8%

French

11.9%

Mandarin

6.8%

German

5.1%

Italian

5.1%

Chinese

3.4%

Portuguese

3.4%

Polish

3.4%

Arabic

3.4%

Wolof

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%

Russian

1.7%

Dari

1.7%

Carrier

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Malayalam

1.7%
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Procurement Buyer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.9%

Michigan State University

7.9%

Strayer University

7.9%

Pennsylvania State University

6.5%

Wichita State University

5.8%

Ashford University

5.0%

Ohio State University

4.3%

University of Houston

4.3%

California State University - East Bay

3.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.6%

American InterContinental University

3.6%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.6%

Ohio University -

2.9%

University of North Texas

2.9%

Middle Tennessee State University

2.9%

Texas Tech University

2.9%

Houston Community College

2.9%

Texas A&M University

2.9%

Washington State University

2.9%

Capella University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

47.3%

Supply Chain Management

7.2%

Management

6.2%

Accounting

5.3%

Marketing

5.0%

Project Management

3.3%

Psychology

3.1%

Finance

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Communication

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

2.1%

Computer Science

1.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.9%

Education

1.7%

Economics

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

English

1.2%

Industrial Engineering

1.2%

Human Resources Management

1.2%

Law

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.6%

Masters

18.7%

Other

17.3%

Associate

10.7%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.1%
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