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Procurement executives are also known as purchasing agents or buyers. They work for a company, buying an array of different goods and services. It is their job to get the best products at the lowest prices.
Procurement executives have the task of predicting what their customers or clients will want to buy. If they predict incorrectly, they can negatively affect a company's profits. They need to check stock and sales levels, compare their company's sales activities with their competitors and oversee the general economic climate to see what people will and will not buy.
Procurement executives work for the most part in pleasant offices. They work a standard 40-hour week, although overtime is common especially around holiday periods and back-to-school periods for those working in retail.
Larger companies prefer candidates to have a bachelor's degree in business or something related. For those wanting to advance to managerial positions within procurement departments, a master's degree will often be needed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 527,400 procurement executives in the U.S. in 2008. The sector is expected to grow by seven percent up to 2018, which is about as fast as the national average for all jobs in the U.S.
In 2008, the average salary for a procurement executive in the U.S. was $49,670, with the top 10 percent of earners taking home more than $96,220.