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Become A Purchase Analyst

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Working As A Purchase Analyst

  • 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

  • $56,442

    Average Salary

What Does A Purchase Analyst 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 Purchase Analyst

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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Purchase Analyst Jobs

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Purchase Analyst Career Paths

Purchase Analyst
Contracts Administrator Senior Contract Administrator/Contract Administrator
Contracts Administration Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Manager Senior Purchasing Manager Director Of Purchasing
Director Of Global Sourcing
14 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Purchasing Manager
Global Procurement Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Supply Chain Manager
Global Supply Chain Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Manager Purchasing Manager
Materials Director
12 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Specialist Project Manager Purchasing Manager
Procurement Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Accountant Business Manager Contracts Manager
Project Procurement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Account Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Manager, Procurement
11 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Purchasing Manager Category Manager
Senior Merchandising Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Manager Regional Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Sourcing Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Specialist Supply Chain Analyst
Senior Supply Chain Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Contracts Manager Contracts Administrator
Subcontracts Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Analyst All-Source Analyst Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Lead
9 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Planner Senior Buyer
Supply Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accountant Finance Analyst Senior Operations Analyst
Vending Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Purchase Analyst?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Buyer 5.1 years
Purchasing Buyer 4.1 years
Corporate Buyer 4.0 years
Purchasing Agent 4.0 years
Buyer 3.8 years
Planner/Buyer 3.8 years
Procurement Buyer 3.3 years
Buying Analyst 3.3 years
Material Analyst 3.1 years
Procurement Agent 3.1 years
Purchase Analyst 3.0 years
Planning Analyst 2.8 years
Contract Analyst 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Buyer 18.6%
Internship 5.8%
Manager 2.6%
Teller 2.5%
Analyst 2.1%
Assistant 2.1%
Top Employers After
Buyer 19.3%
Analyst 2.4%

Do you work as a Purchase Analyst?

Purchase Analyst Demographics

Gender

Female

54.1%

Male

43.9%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.1%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

8.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.4%

German

11.1%

French

8.3%

Italian

8.3%

Chinese

5.6%

Mandarin

5.6%

Bulgarian

1.4%

Hindi

1.4%

Macedonian

1.4%

Albanian

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Cheyenne

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Croatian

1.4%

Bengali

1.4%
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Purchase Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.4%

Michigan State University

9.0%

Wayne State University

6.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.6%

Arizona State University

4.9%

Ohio State University

4.9%

Strayer University

4.9%

Texas A&M University

4.2%

Oakland University

4.2%

Northeastern University

4.2%

Albertus Magnus College

3.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.5%

University of North Texas

3.5%

Illinois State University

3.5%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.5%

University of Utah

3.5%

American InterContinental University

3.5%

Northern Illinois University

3.5%

Liberty University

3.5%

Central Michigan University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

41.7%

Marketing

7.7%

Finance

7.5%

Management

6.6%

Accounting

6.6%

Supply Chain Management

6.5%

Economics

3.8%

International Business

2.7%

Communication

2.3%

Psychology

2.0%

Human Resources Management

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

Political Science

1.4%

Computer Information Systems

1.4%

Computer Science

1.2%

Electrical Engineering

1.2%

Project Management

1.2%

Health Care Administration

1.2%

Education

1.1%

Liberal Arts

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.1%

Masters

24.4%

Other

13.2%

Associate

7.0%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Real Purchase Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Management and Purchasing Analyst Al Legacy Partners Inc. Dallas, TX Jun 15, 2014 $115,877
Management and Purchasing Analyst American Leather Dallas, TX Jun 30, 2015 $115,315
Management and Purchasing Analyst American Leather Dallas, TX Jan 10, 2015 $115,315
Management and Purchasing Analyst Al Legacy Partners Inc. Dallas, TX Mar 01, 2014 $107,536
General Purchasing Analyst Detroit Diesel Corporation Detroit, MI Oct 08, 2016 $92,587
SR. Purchasing Analyst Mobis Alabama, LLC Montgomery, AL Sep 12, 2015 $89,378
Purchasing Analyst Detroit Diesel Corporation Detroit, MI Sep 10, 2015 $85,729
General Purchasing Analyst Detroit Diesel Corporation Detroit, MI Jul 27, 2016 $83,232
Coffee Purchasing Analyst Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc. Emeryville, CA Mar 04, 2011 $72,000
Purchasing Analyst Cummins Emission Solutions Inc. Columbus, IN Jul 28, 2012 $70,000 -
$91,400
Purchasing Analyst Cummins Emission Solutions Inc. Columbus, IN Apr 16, 2012 $70,000 -
$91,400
Purchasing Analyst Saint-Gobain Corporation Valley, PA Oct 01, 2011 $70,000 -
$80,000
Analyst Purchasing SSAB Enterprises, LLC Lisle, IL Jul 16, 2015 $67,200
Purchasing PFR Analyst Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Jan 31, 2014 $59,620 -
$80,600
Purchasing Analyst Synnex Corporation Fremont, CA Sep 26, 2011 $58,053
Cost Purchase Analyst Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Oct 01, 2014 $57,221 -
$75,200
Purchasing Analyst Ageatia Technology Consultancy Services Inc. Schaumburg, IL Aug 28, 2015 $56,000
Purchasing Analyst Steve Silver Company Forney, TX Sep 01, 2015 $55,368
Purchasing Analyst Acme Furniture Industry, Inc. Industry, CA Apr 22, 2015 $54,330
Purchasing Analyst The Sherwin-Williams Company Cleveland, OH Oct 01, 2011 $53,014
Project and Purchasing Analyst Aluminum Shapes, LLC NJ Feb 26, 2014 $46,405
Purchasing Analyst Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. Yonkers, NY Sep 04, 2012 $46,217
Purchasing Analyst JOON, LLC Cusseta, AL Jan 14, 2015 $45,843
Purchasing Analyst Headmost International, Inc. Ontario, CA Mar 21, 2011 $45,204
Purchasing Analyst RAB Lighting Northvale, NJ Mar 01, 2013 $45,000
Purchasing Analyst ZF Services North America, LLC Vernon Hills, IL Jan 02, 2011 $45,000
Purchasing Analyst Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. Yonkers, NY Aug 10, 2014 $44,990

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Top Skills for A Purchase Analyst

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  1. Product Quality
  2. Purchase
  3. Vendors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Sourced suppliers to buyers with suitable product quality, followed through on deliveries of samples and products from production to delivery
  • Followed up with associates, communicating any delivery issues related to products purchased.
  • Maintained effective relationships with vendors, associates and internal customers.
  • Resolved complicated variances on monthly product pricing, volume discrepancies, cost savings initiatives and surplus inventory tracking reports.
  • Reconciled the general ledger and assisted with quarterly financial statements.

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Top 10 Best States for Purchase Analysts

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Maryland
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Michigan
  6. Connecticut
  7. Massachusetts
  8. New Jersey
  9. Alabama
  10. Minnesota
  • (177 jobs)
  • (675 jobs)
  • (342 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (316 jobs)
  • (193 jobs)
  • (338 jobs)
  • (301 jobs)
  • (141 jobs)
  • (272 jobs)

Top Purchase Analyst Employers

Jobs From Top Purchase Analyst Employers

Purchase Analyst Videos

Purchasing Agent, Career Video from drkit.org

Careers in Supply Management

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