Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 13-1023 Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing. Include contract specialists, field contractors, purchasers, price analysts, tooling coordinators, and media buyers. Exclude "Purchasing Agents and Buyers, Farm Products" (13-1021) and "Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products" (13-1022).
Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
OJT: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Tasks: Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services. Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts. Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations. Research and evaluate suppliers, based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history. Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives. Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices. Maintain and review computerized or manual records of purchased items, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories. Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased. Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services. Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes. Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time, and resolve problems related to undelivered goods. Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters. Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services. Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets. Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action. Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies. Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices. Arrange the payment of duty and freight charges.
License: License not required.
Outlook: Satisfactory
Alabama Employment Outlook
Comprehensive wage data available: Alabama Occupational Wage Survey
Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2016Projected Employment 2026Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
Related Occupations: Postsecondary Institutions With Programs:
Budget Analysts
Claims Examiners, Property and Casualty Insurance
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
Cost Estimators
Customs Brokers
Insurance Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators
Purchasing Managers
Regulatory Affairs Managers
Regulatory Affairs Specialists
Transportation Managers
No postsecondary schools reported programs.
Occupational Videos
13-1023.00 Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products