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Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents
Quick Facts : Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents*
2010 Median Pay$58,360
Entry Level Education              

           
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012487,200
Job Outlook7% (Slower than average)
Employment Change31,700


Purchasing managers, buyers, and agents buy products for companies to use or resell. They handle the various factors that involve suppliers, negotiating contracts and the quality of the product. Many organizations now run on a lean manufacturing schedule and use just-in-time inventories, so any delays in the supply chain can shut down production and potentially cost the organization customers.

What Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents Do

  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other information to determine reasonable prices
  • Negotiate contracts on behalf of their organization
  • 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 need for changes

Work Environment

Most purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents work full time. Many work more than 40 hours per week.
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Job Outlook

Employment of purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents is expected to increase 7 percent from 2010 to 2020 and 9 percent for wholesale and retail buyers.
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Pay

The average salary of purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents was $58,360 in May 2010.
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Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

58360

Finance Occupations

59143.0435

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents*
Percent Change in Employment

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

6.50657

Finance Occupations

18.39732977618342

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

Buyers and purchasing agents need a high school diploma and on-the-job training. Purchasing managers need a bachelor's degree and work experience as a buyer or purchasing agent. Many manufacturing firms put an even greater emphasis on formal training, preferring applicants who have a bachelor's or master's degree in engineering, business, economics, or one of the applied sciences.
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