How To Become a Buyer and Purchasing Agent

Buyer and purchasing agents evaluate supplies, review the quality of products, and negotiate contracts. These findings are used to buy products and services for an organization or institution to use or resell. They attend trade shows, conferences, and meetings to remain current on new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers. Buyer and purchasing agents assure the supplier delivers products on time, with correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality.

How to become a purchasing agent
  1. Pursue an education. Research education requirements for your preferred industry or companies to determine if it is necessary to pursue higher education. …
  2. Gain relevant work experience. …
  3. Earn professional certifications. …
  4. Prepare your resume. …
  5. Apply for purchasing agent jobs.

Purchasing Manager, Purchasing Agent, Wholesale and Retail Buyer Career Video

What does a buyer and purchasing agent do?

A buyer and purchasing agent helps companies get the best deals when buying supplies by selecting the right suppliers and bargaining to reduce cost. They ensure supplies arrive on schedule and are free of defects. These professionals check the quality of products acquired for business use. That means a buyer and purchasing agent must understand how to conduct quality assurance checks.

Here are other duties of a buyer and purchasing agent:

What is a buyer and purchasing agent?

A buyer and purchasing agent is a professional who buys the raw materials, equipment and services a business needs to carry out their operations. They collect and screen information about suppliers, products and prices in order to select and purchase goods and services. There are several types of buyers and purchasing agents, such as:

Service companies also rely on these buyers and purchasing agents to guarantee seamless operations. An insurance company doesnt need chemical products or raw materials, but it needs office supplies and services such as cleaning and communications.

How to become a buyer and purchasing agent

Here is a list of steps you can take to pursue a career as a buyer or purchasing agent:

1. Get academic qualifications

Buyers and purchasing agents must possess at least a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate (GED). However, large organizations may expect a bachelors degree from prospective purchasing agents. Degrees in supply management, business, finance or agriculture are common educational paths for a buying and purchasing job. Occasionally, companies may require buyer and purchasing agent applicants to possess a masters degree in the above fields.

2. Gain necessary training and experience

You can build experience and find training in entry-level purchasing roles, such as a purchasing clerk or purchasing assistant. These roles can provide practical training and relevant skills for future positions. As you gain experience, consider pursuing additional levels of leadership and responsibility.

Before beginning work in the field, buyers and purchasing agents undergo training to gain competencies needed for the job. You can gain these abilities through courses and seminars offered by the American Purchasing Society (APS). Topics covered by the APS program include subjects such as cost evaluation, negotiation and legal knowledge.

Upon starting a job, your employer may also provide on-the-job training to learn about the companys current suppliers, their supply chain system and company policies.

3. Get professional certifications

Purchasing agents need to earn professional certifications to prove their skills and education. The APS offers several globally recognized certifications for buyer and purchasing professionals, available to both members and non-members, though members receive discounts. The following certifications are available:

Essential skills for a buyer and purchasing agent

Buyers and purchasing agents need specific skills to advance in their careers, including:


What are the qualifications for purchasing agent?

Purchasing Agent Requirements:
  • High school diploma or GED required.
  • Degree in business administration, procurement, or a related field preferred.
  • Previous experience as a purchasing agent or in a similar position.
  • Proficiency in CRM and inventory management software programs.

Is it hard to be a purchasing agent?

A purchasing agent must have good business negotiation skills, know about price trends, and have technical knowledge. You need to be organized, business savvy, and information-oriented. With that, you also need to have the tenacity for serious and intensive research.

Is a purchasing agent a good career?

Through all their responsibilities, purchasing agents actually play a significant role in a company’s innovation, growth, and cost-savings! As such, those that are really good at what they do are considered to be quite valuable assets to companies, and are presented with interesting career advancement paths.

How do I start a career in purchasing?

Use these steps to learn how to become a procurement specialist:
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree. …
  2. Gain work experience. …
  3. Consider a master’s degree. …
  4. Get certified. …
  5. Join a member organization. …
  6. Take professional development courses. …
  7. Research industries. …
  8. Build your skills.

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