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Become A Senior Buyer

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Working As A Senior 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

  • $86,003

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Buyer Do

A Senior Buyer is responsible for negotiating long-term and short-term transactions with vendors. They also review, evaluate, and monitor the purchases/sales of a commercial department.

How To Become A Senior 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.


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.


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.


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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Senior Buyer jobs

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Real Senior Buyer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Buyer Urban Outfitters, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Nov 03, 2014 $160,000
Senior Buyer, Furniture Williams-Sonoma, Inc. New York, NY Jul 08, 2013 $150,000
Senior Buyer, Furniture Williams-Sonoma, Inc. New York, NY Jul 07, 2015 $141,835 -
Senior Buyer, Furniture Williams-Sonoma, Inc. New York, NY Mar 17, 2015 $141,835 -
Senior Buyer, Global Williams-Sonoma, Inc. New York, NY Nov 14, 2016 $141,440 -
Senior Buyer Knits-Retail and Direct Urban Outfitters, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Aug 06, 2014 $126,000
Senior Buyer, Apparel Walmart.Com Brisbane, CA Mar 14, 2011 $120,000
Business & Purchasing Manager-Senior Buyer Sport Chalet, Inc. CA Nov 14, 2011 $115,000
Senior Global Buyer, Franchise Williams-Sonoma, Inc. New York, NY Sep 12, 2015 $115,000 -
Senior Buyer W. R. Grace &Amp; Co. Columbia, MD Dec 28, 2015 $112,200
Senior Buyer/Planner Litepoint Corporation, A Teradyne Company Sunnyvale, CA May 16, 2016 $110,000
SR. Buyer Knits-Retail and Direct Urban Outfitters, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Nov 01, 2011 $110,000
Senior Buying Manager, Europe Online The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 03, 2015 $104,000 -
Senior Buyer Pharmavite LLC Los Angeles, CA May 01, 2015 $102,024
Senior Buyer Eaton Corporation Eden Prairie, MN Sep 08, 2012 $83,187
Senior Buyer (Purchasing Agent) Reckitt Benckiser LLC Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Sep 14, 2016 $83,000
Senior Buyer, Meat Fresh Direct LLC Islandia, NY Nov 07, 2011 $83,000
Senior Buyer AGCO Corporation Duluth, GA Oct 01, 2015 $83,000
Senior Buyer Coinstar Procurement LLC Oakbrook Terrace, IL Aug 20, 2014 $82,000 -
Senior Buyer Coinstar Procurement LLC Oakbrook Terrace, IL Dec 11, 2014 $82,000 -
Senior Buyer-Direct Materials, North America W. R. Grace & Co. Baltimore, MD Sep 30, 2013 $82,000
Senior Buyer The Medtech Group South Plainfield, NJ Nov 03, 2012 $81,182 -
SR. Buyer Coinstar, Inc. Aurora, IL May 02, 2011 $75,000 -
SR. Buyer Coinstar Procurement LLC Oakbrook Terrace, IL Nov 30, 2012 $75,000 -
Senior Buyer Dometic Corporation Elkhart, IN Feb 22, 2016 $75,000
Senior Buyer SBM Atlantia, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 09, 2012 $74,443 -
Senior Sourcing Buyer Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P. Houston, TX Jan 10, 2014 $73,632 -
Senior New Project Buyer Pelco, Inc. Tualatin, OR Aug 28, 2016 $72,904 -
SR. Buyer-Supply Chain-Purchasing Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Houston, TX Aug 15, 2015 $72,615

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Top Skills for A Senior Buyer


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Top Senior Buyer Skills

  1. Supply Chain
  2. Purchase Orders
  3. Parts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided leadership to all supply chain activity involving $60 million in purchasing annually for five plants in three states.
  • Expedite purchase orders, work with quality to establish new vendors for both castings and machine.
  • Quote, negotiate and issue purchase orders for raw sand castings and machined parts for the industrial pump industry.
  • Collaborated with Product Managers in new product development.
  • Direct interaction with inside/outside engineering resources; manage vendor relationships to ensure quality and compliance with company initiatives.

Top Senior Buyer Employers

Senior Buyer Videos

The Role of a Senior Buyer

Tea with Jules: Holly Russell Senior Buyer at Net-A-Porter

Dale Larsen, Senior Buyer, describes how easy it is to do business with Spectrum Numismatics