Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products) Salary
Median pay for Purchasing Agents in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $49K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $5K and $7K, respectively — total cash payment to Purchasing Agents can bottom out near $31K or peak near $67K depending on individual performance. Geographic location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and the larger part earn dental coverage. The majority of Purchasing Agents claim high levels of job satisfaction. Men make up a slight majority of Purchasing Agents (51 percent) who responded to the survey. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products)
A company’s purchasing agent (in fields other that wholesale, retail, or farm products) has extensive knowledge of computers and a company's economic procedures. They use those skills to ensure purchasing and orders run smoothly. Purchasing agents must maintain good relationships with current vendors and buyers, which includes communicating changes in products, any new products that the vendor may be interested in purchasing, and any promotions by the company. The purchasing agent keeps up with current product demands and try to increase sales from vendors and buyers. Purchasing agents also regularly work with sales and marketing departments of the company to identify any products or services of the company that are not selling well to decide whether the product should be taken off the market.Read More...
Purchasing agents need a number of skills and prerequisites. For instance, in most cases, a bachelor’s degree typically is a preferred requirement, although a high school diploma may substitute. In addition, prior experience in purchasing or accounting is ideal. Because most of the work is done on the computer, these individual must have knowledge of relevant computer programs.
Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products) Tasks
- Test and evaluate sample products, draw up and approve requisitions, and ensure adequate supply.
- Research and identify vendors, and negotiate to achieve desired quality, price, and timetables.
- Inventory existing property and conduct audits.
- Procure and contract for goods and services in a specific industry.
- Take corrective action when defective goods are received.
Common Career Paths for Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products)
There are some Purchasing Agents — though it's uncommon — that transition into Purchasing Directors, where earnings are an average $84K annually. The most common next step for a Purchasing Agent is to become a Purchasing Manager or a Purchasing Manager. The former position pays an additional $15K per year on average, and the latter position pays $3K more per year.
Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products) Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products)
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Contract Management, Sourcing, and Contract Negotiation are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 43 percent, 23 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Materials Requirement Planning and Order Inventory. The majority of those who know Vendor Management also know Procurement. Most people skilled in Purchasing are similarly competent in Inventory Management, Procurement, and Contract Negotiation.
Pay by Experience Level for Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Purchasing Agents — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $42K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $47K. Purchasing Agents who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $49K. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $54K.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Purchasing Agents that is 41 percent greater than the national average, Austin offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Purchasing Agents will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+14 percent), Cleveland (+14 percent), Denver (+14 percent), and New York (+13 percent). Buffalo ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 18 percent below the national average. Elkhart and Salt Lake City are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 12 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively.