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.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Purchasing Agent Salaries

Average Base Pay

$55,280 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $55K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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
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Purchasing Agent Insights

Read what Purchasing Agent professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
EchoPark AutomotiveEchoPark Automotive
Feb. 4, 2020

“Self Accountability is important here and taking ownership of your actions is encouraged and expected.”

PDX Renovations PDX Renovations
Acquisitions Manager
Jan. 18, 2021

“It's a great job for critical thinkers as creativity and personal autonomy are highly valued.”

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.”

Mar. 11, 2021

“There are little to no opportunities to learn and grow outside of your daily tasks.”

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!”

Magna InternationalMagna International
Purchasing Intern
Jan. 18, 2021

“Great way to learn how purchasing is in the real world as opposed to reading in a textbook.”

Trade-Mark IndustrialTrade-Mark Industrial
Sep. 13, 2019

“Decent pay on paper until you find out it's based on a 42.5 hour week.”

Jaguar Land RoverJaguar Land Rover
Regional Purchasing Manager
Jul. 1, 2020

“Promotion prospects based purely on ability to write a good PowerPoint or your personal relationships with influential Directors.”

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Purchasing Agent Interviews

Related Careers

50% skills overlap
Procurement Agent
63% skills overlap
Supply Chain Manager
13% skills overlap
Teaching Assistant
13% skills overlap

Purchasing Agent jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a purchasing agent

When working as a purchasing agent, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Microsoft Office Suite, Excellent Communication, Excellent Organizational, SUPPLIERS and Powerpoint.

The most similar professions to purchasing agent are:
  • Buyer
  • Procurement Agent
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Teaching Assistant

The most common qualifications to become a purchasing agent is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.