Purchasing Agent

Quick Facts: Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents
2012 Median Pay $60,550 per year
$29.11 per hour
Entry-Level Education See How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related Occupation See How to Become One
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2012 504,600
Job Outlook, 2012-22 4% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 19,700

What Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents Do

Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents buy products for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review product quality.

Work Environment

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

How to Become a Purchasing Manager, Buyer, or Purchasing Agent

Although educational requirements for buyers and purchasing agents may vary by the size of the organization and the type of product, all need extensive on-the-job training. Purchasing managers need a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a buyer or purchasing agent.

Pay

The median annual wage for purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents was $60,550 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents is projected to grow 4 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. These workers will be needed to buy goods and services for business operations or for resale to customers. Employment growth will vary based on the type of purchasing agent or manager and the specific industry.