Purchasing Agents


Overview

Purchasing Agents

Introduction

Purchasing agents work for businesses and other large organizations, such as hospitals, universities, and government agencies. They buy raw materials, machinery, supplies, and services required for the organization. They must consider cost, quality, quantity, and time of delivery. Purchasing agents and buyers hold approximately 503,900 jobs in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$64,380

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Internship


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Skills

Interpersonal


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Personality Traits

Hands On

Earnings

How much a purchasing agent earns depends on various factors, including the employer's sales volume. According to May 2019 U.S. Department of Labor data, earnings for buyers and purchasing agents ranged from less than $38,230 for the lowest 10 percent to more than $107,510 for the top 10 percent. Median salaries were $64,380. Purchasing agents employed in the government sector commanded the hig...

Work Environment

Working conditions for a purchasing agent are similar to those of other office employees. They usually work in offices that are pleasant, well lighted, and clean. Work is year-round and generally steady because it is not particularly influenced by seasonal factors. Most have 40-hour workweeks, although overtime is not uncommon. In addition to regular hours, agents may have to attend meetings, r...

Outlook

Employment of purchasing agents and buyers is expected to decline by 7 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Employment of purchasing managers will grow by 4 percent during the same time period.

"Projected employment declines of buyers and purchasing agents are expected due to increased automation and outsourcing of some procurement tasks," the DOL explai...

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