Careers in Purchasing: What Are My Job Options?
Do you enjoy shopping or researching products and services? Does the idea of managing a team of purchasing professionals interest you? If so, a career in purchasing may be right for you. Read more to learn about your job options. Schools offering Acquisition & Contract Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Are My Career Options in Purchasing?
Purchasing professionals work to ensure their company receives the best value for their budgets. You can find a purchasing career in a variety of industries, such as agriculture, retail and business. Related job titles can include purchasing agent, buyer and purchasing manger.
As a purchasing agent, you may work on behalf of a company to locate goods and services. For example, a purchasing agent employed by a technology firm purchases computers and other equipment for use by the company. In this position, you can expect to research suppliers, monitor the sales history of specific products and consider the quality of products.
Working as a buyer requires purchasing goods for resale or to the general public. You will be responsible for selecting merchandise by using research and data on consumer needs.
You can expect to manage the purchasing budget, locate international suppliers and supervise a team of purchasing agents as a manager. In some positions, you may be responsible for creating and implementing purchasing procedures, as well as interviewing prospective suppliers.
What Type of Training Will I Need?
Although not required for all purchasing careers, obtaining a bachelor's degree can be beneficial for most positions. You may also need a master's degree if you want to become a manager or supervisor. Related bachelor's and master's degree programs are available in supply chain management, economics and operations technology.
You can study a variety of topics, such as logistics, negotiations, finance and distribution. Depending on the position, you may also need to complete on-the-job training.
How Much Might I Earn?
Your average salary in a purchasing career will depend on your education, training and experience. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that purchasing managers earned an average salary of $100,600 in 2010 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that buyers in the wholesale and retail industries earned an average of $56,300 in the same year, while purchasing agents averaged $60,160.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: