How to Become a Senior Buyer?

Are you thinking of becoming a Senior Buyer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Senior Buyer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Senior Buyer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become a Buyer

A buyer procures products, including nondurable goods or farm products, along with relevant services an organization intends to either resell or use. While seeking for the best deal for an organization, buyers search for high-quality services and goods at the lowest cost possible. They also examine sales records, industry trends, and inventory levels by examining domestic and foreign suppliers while keeping up-to-date with possible changes that could affect the supply and demand chain for materials and products. Follow these five steps on how to become a buyer.

Earn your education.

The education requirements required to have a career as a buyer will be based on the position you seek and the specific industry. Most will require a bachelor's degree in a field such as finance, accounting, business, or supply management. Other buyer jobs will only require a high school diploma. Researching the position you would like to end up with will help you determine whether continuing your education or not is the best choice for your chosen path.

What skills do you need to be a Buyer?

  • Interpersonal and Communication
  • Microsoft EXCEL
  • Negotiation
  • ERP System
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Apics Certification
  • Powerpoint
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Buyer in the United States.

Get an entry-level job.

Once you're done with or are in the midst of your educational program to become a buyer, you can take advantage of hands-on learning opportunities such as internships. Internships allow you to observe those who work in your field of interest in real life and see how they handle negotiation and business communication. This would also be an excellent time to apply for entry-level positions so you can advance your career to being a buyer.


Get experience and on-the-job training.

After completing your education, it's time to start your training and gain vital experience as a buyer. This will allow you to hone in on the skills you'll use every day on the job, such as:

  • Negotiating. You'll often find yourself negotiating with the supplier, and being skilled in research strategy and persuasion will help you be successful.
  • Math. You'll be required to use simple formulas and calculations to compare prices and ensure you're getting the best rate.
  • Communication skills. It will be necessary to have effective conversations with suppliers and within your organization with personnel and management. Having empathy and patience are great skills to have as a buyer.
  • Analytical skills. These will help you analyze products' quality, find competitive prices, and find options for prompt service and delivery.
  • Decision-making skills. Timely and informed decision-making skills will help you when it's time to finalize your choices.

Earn relevant certifications.

There are several relevant certifications that you can pursue as a buyer. Your employer may or may not require you to have them, but they're a great way to show that you're able to keep up with industry requirements and make yourself valuable as an employee. These certifications include:

  • Certified Purchasing Professional.
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional.
  • Certified Professional Public Buyer.
  • Certified Public Purchasing Officer.

Each certification has different requirements regarding what education level and amount of experience are required and will have different training courses.


Apply for positions as a buyer.

If you have all your necessary certifications, necessary experience, and your education completed, then you're ready to begin applying to buyer positions. It would help if you tailored your resume to fit the job you're applying for and highlighted special skills, education, and certifications to help yourself stand out from the crowd. As a buyer, you can work in various industries, including:

  • Retail.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Government.
  • Wholesale trade.
  • Agriculture.

Senior Buyer Career Path

Senior Buyer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$89K - $138K /yrMost Likely Range
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Buyer IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$91K - $136K /yrMost Likely Range
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Director of Purchasing

No Years of Experience Reports
$139K - $236K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Senior Buyer Career Path

Buyer I
Buyer II
Senior Buyer
Buyer Manager
Buyer IV
Director of Purchasing
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Related Careers in the Business Industry

Interested in other Business careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Senior Buyer skills. Discover some of the most common Senior Buyer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Purchasing Agent
50% skills overlap
32% transitioned to Purchasing Agent