Purchasing Agent

Purchasing agents are professional buyers that are responsible for maintaining an accurate inventory for their firms and for purchasing raw materials supplies and equipment that are needed for their firms to conduct business. A purchasing agent must make sure all of the products they purchase are of good quality and they must be savvy about changing market conditions. Purchasing agents may stock items and supplies ahead of time if market shortages are anticipated. They must constantly be aware of the going price for items and products so that they can strike the best deals as possible with suppliers. They are in charge of reviewing requests for products from various employees and making sure all items requested fall within the allotted budget. They usually obtain bids on products from various suppliers and complete purchase orders from vendors that not only agree to supply products at the most optimal price but also have a record of reliable service. They may have to arrange for purchases to be transported to the company and if necessary for items or materials to be stored safely until they are actually needed. Purchasing agents work for many types of employers including large firms government offices corporate offices manufacturing facilities warehouses and both wholesale and retail offices. The website www.ehow.com says that employers usually want to hire purchasing agents that have a bachelor’s degree in business or economics. However job applicants with master’s degrees often have an advantage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there is a wide range of earnings for purchasing agents from a low of approximately $26000 to a high of approximately $89000. However the majority earn between $34000 and $64000 annually.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $57500
High Salary: $89000
Low Salary: $26000
Tasks: Purchases raw materials to be used in the manufacturing process.
Researches and analyzes pricing.
Understand market trends and price fluctuations.
Ensures that manufacturers obtain the products they need to produce goods.
Also Called: Purchasing Manager
Professional Buyer
Supply Chain Manager
Procurement Agent
Additional Resources: http://www.humanresources.hrvinet.com/purchasing-agent-job-description/
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/purchasing-agent-job-description.html
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5008043_job-description-purchasing-agent.html