What does a Purchasing Agent do?

Purchasing agents buy farm products and durable and non-durable goods and services for their respective organizations or institutions. They work to procure the best deal for the organization, meaning the highest quality goods and services available at the lowest possible cost. To bolster their strategy, they study sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identify foreign and domestic suppliers, and remain up-to-date with the latest changes that affect supply and demand for products and materials.

Purchasing agents consider factors including the price, quality, availability, liability, and technical support when they are choosing suppliers and merchandise. They attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and to establish contact and foster relationships with suppliers. They evaluate suppliers on the basis of the price, quality, and speed and delivery of the product or service and interview vendors, visiting suppliers, plants, and distribution centers to examine and learn more about their products, services, and prices. Purchasing agents need a bachelor's degree in business, mathematics, economics, engineering, or related fields.

What responsibilities are common for Purchasing Agent jobs?
  • Manage risk to quality, cost, delivery, and supply of purchases.
  • Oversee all shipping and receiving of, materials, supplies, etc.
  • Confirm and match pricing on all purchase orders and invoices.
  • Create purchasing documents as directed to correct inventory discrepancies.
  • Check pricing on production items received, correct as needed.
  • Build and maintain good relationships with new and existing suppliers.
  • Lead estimate reviews with project management, design team, and owners.
  • The ideal candidate sources equipment, goods and services and manages vendors.
  • Prepare orders to be drop shipped directly to customers.
  • Manage, develop and recommend procurement and contract policies.
  • Ensure that physical security of all storerooms and product.
  • Respond to sales associate requests on a timely basis.
  • Coordinate with internal teams to determine and manage inventory/purchasing needs.
  • Define, prepare, and develop scopes of work and/or project bid packages.
  • Review and approve bid specifications to be submitted to vendors. approves all purchase orders.
  • Lead the relationships and negotiations with third party manufacturers.
  • Review weekly inventory and sales analysis for all shows and special projects
  • Keep updated records and inform project status with all stakeholders.
  • Conduct audits and reviews of material and parts ordering to improve operations.
What are the typical qualifications for Purchasing Agent jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in computer science, information systems or business administration, or equivalent experience.
  • Experience with enterprise resource planning and spreadsheets.
  • Comfortable negotiating and problem solving.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and time management skills.
  • Work with strong attention to detail and an eye on leadership.
  • Collaboration with team members using a positive attitude and strive for continuous improvement.
  • Is comfortable liaising with team members and clients.
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Purchasing Agent make near United States?

$54,013 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


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Purchasing Agent Career Path

Learn how to become a Purchasing Agent, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Purchasing Agent

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Purchasing Agent Insights

Read what Purchasing Agent professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Wallis CompaniesWallis Companies
Purchasing Assistant
Oct 24, 2022

“They did offer bonus program which was nice but not the best I have seen in past employment.”

Automotive Holdings GroupAutomotive Holdings Group
Contact Centre Team Leader
Jun 17, 2023

“I progressed up the ladder quickly but it was not an enjoyable or supportive environment.”

Explore LearningExplore Learning
Centre Director
Sep 11, 2021

“As a manager it's a great first job out of university and you're given responsibility straight away.”

Oakwood HomesOakwood Homes
Purchasing Agent
Sep 9, 2023

“Basically create my own training program when I was new to the industry and didn't know their procedures/policies.”

Airport Home ApplianceAirport Home Appliance
Nov 29, 2021

“Overall a great positive place whether you're just begin your career or finish off an existing career!”

Procter & GambleProcter & Gamble
Purchasing Director
Mar 30, 2023

“Benefits are best you will find in any industry which makes total compensation most of the time the best”

Mar 7, 2022

“It was good to have a full time job working at Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle while it lasted.”

Purchasing Assistant
Mar 8, 2022

“What I love about Datavox is the amazing people I have had the opportunity to work with.”

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Purchasing Agent Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of purchasing agents

The typical day of a purchasing agent centers around procuring goods and services for an organization by assessing vendors, arranging contracts, and analyzing finances. They also build supplier relationships and networks and manage problems that arise during the procurement process.

One advantage of working as a purchasing agent is that they typically have regular business hours, which offers a good work-life balance. These professionals also have the opportunity to travel to conferences or trade shows to find new products and develop new vendor relationships.

The average salary for purchasing agents in the U.S. is $54,013 per year, with a salary range starting at $54,013 per year and going to $64,999 per year. Purchasing agents can boost their salaries by switching industries or moving into supervisory positions.

Becoming a purchasing agent means being able to deal with stress when orders are late or products have quality issues. They also must take accountability for the purchasing decisions they make, which includes keeping a cool head and rectifying any vendor or order issues that may arise.

Related Careers

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Operations Manager
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Procurement Agent
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Supply Chain Manager
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Purchasing Agent Jobs