Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products.
Most buyers and purchasing agents work full time. Some work more than 40 hours per week.
How to Become a Buyer or Purchasing Agent
Although a high school diploma may be sufficient for some positions, many employers require buyers and purchasing agents to have a bachelor’s degree. Most entry-level positions require some form of on-the-job training.
Employment of buyers and purchasing agents is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. These workers will be needed to buy goods and services for business operations or for resale to customers. Employment growth will vary with the type of purchasing agent and the specific industry.
This occupation supported 432,799 jobs in 2012 and 443,200 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 2.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 4.2% in 2022 to 450,900 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 436,400, compared with an observed value of 443,200, 1.6% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 1.6% in 2024 to 450,300 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 454,500 jobs for 2024, 0.9% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.