Purchasing Agent Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Purchasing Agent, or Product Purchasing Agent, finds and purchases products for a company to use or resell. Their duties include locating suppliers, researching goods, services and materials and processing purchasing orders.


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Purchasing Agent duties and responsibilities

Purchasing Agents work and negotiate with suppliers to purchase goods and services for the company they represent. This role may have the following duties and responsibilities: 

  • Evaluating suppliers by considering price, quality, availability and other criteria 
  • Interviewing vendors and visiting suppliers’ facilities to learn about products, services and pricing
  • Negotiating contracts with vendors and suppliers to obtain the best deals on behalf of the company
  • Verifying purchases by comparing them to a master list and recommending alternatives for expensive or irrelevant products
  • Interacting with suppliers to schedule delivery times and resolve shipping errors
  • Authorizing payments and maintain receipts, records and inventories
  • Attend industry trade shows to learn about and stay current on trends and to meet suppliers


Purchasing Agent Job Description Examples


Purchasing Agent

DH Homes is a family-oriented business based in Lago Vista, Texas. We currently build seven plans in one community. Also, we construct 2-4 custom homes and/or light commercial projects annually, primarily in the Lago Vista, Jonestown, and Leander area.

We are looking for an energetic, diligent, and well-organized individual to manage our estimating, purchasing, and start activities. The candidate will be part of a small team dedicated to creating buildings that are functionally excellent, aesthetically pleasing, and technically advanced. We strive to construct quality homes on time and within budget while delivering superior value to our clients.

  • Primary Responsibilities

  • Manage estimating and purchasing activities, including material take-offs, pricing negotiations, detailed scopes of work, bid awards, and contract execution.

  • Coordinate the commencement of each new project.

  • Create and distribute purchase orders ensuring that all costs are accounted for before commencement

  • Review and approve variances to original budget or pricing discrepancies reported by vendors and our construction manager

  • Field calls from vendors, sales agents, construction superintendents, and designers to assist with issues or custom price requests

  • Process change orders, plan changes and make all necessary budget adjustments

  • Maintain database for cost, material takeoff estimates, and architectural plan options

  • Work directly with the Operations manager on product development.

  • Assist in value engineering our projects

  • Perform field site visits, as necessary, to identify and reconcile variance issues

  • General Expectations:

  • Work closely with other employees

  • To be detailed and organized in every aspect

  • To be clean and neat

  • To be a problem solver

  • To have a calm and respectful demeanor with all those you interact with

  • To work until the job is complete

  • To execute and enforce company policy

  • To be moral, ethical and upright

    We sincerely hope that this contract position converts to a full-time job. In these uncertain times, we current will only commit to a contract position.

    Job Types: Full-time, Contract

    Salary: $3,000.00 to $4,000.00 /month


  • Central Texas homebuilder purchasing: 3 years (Preferred)


  • Associate (Preferred)

    Contract Length:

  • 3 - 4 months

    Contract Renewal:

  • Likely

    Full Time Opportunity:

  • Yes

    Additional Compensation:

  • Bonuses

    Work Location:

  • Fully Remote


  • Paid time off

  • Work from home

  • Flexible schedule

    Paid Training:

  • Yes


  • Ops Manager

    Typical start time:

  • 7AM

    Typical end time:

  • 4PM


  • Monday to Friday

    Company's Facebook page:

  • Handlin Investments Inc

    Benefit Conditions:

  • Waiting period may Yes
  • ×

    Purchasing Agent

    Purchasing Assistant

  • Verifies purchase requisitions by comparing items requested to master list; clarifying unclear items

  • Prepares purchase/work orders by verifying specifications and price; obtaining approval from requisitioning department.

  • Obtains purchased items by forwarding orders to suppliers; monitoring and expediting orders.

  • Verifies receipt of items by comparing items received to items ordered; resolves shipments in error with suppliers.

  • Authorizes payment for purchases by forwarding receiving documentation.

  • Keeps information accessible by sorting and filing documents.

  • Provides purchasing planning and control information by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing data and trends.

  • Manage relationships with key suppliers to maintain quality of goods, timely delivery and compliance to terms of contracts

  • Accomplishes purchasing and organization mission by completing related results as needed.

  • Follows and provides feedback on processes set forth by department for organization and data management.

    Job Brief

    We are looking for a skilled purchasing agent to manage the purchasing of all materials and labor needed to complete projects in a timely and efficient manner. The ideal candidate will have the skill set to analyze all costs associated with the job as well as obtain thorough knowledge of trends in the market. Communication with subcontractors and vendors, as well as office staff, will be crucial in order to maintain good relationships and best pricing available.


  • Knowledge of Market Research, Data Analysis and Purchasing Best Practices

  • Working Knowledge of MS Office, AutoCAD and Purchasing Software

  • Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Analytical and Critical Mindset

  • Outstanding Organizational Skills

  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Experience

  • Construction Degree/Experience preferred

    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $40,000.00 to $60,000.00 /year


  • High school or equivalent (Preferred)


  • English (Preferred)

    Additional Compensation:

  • Bonuses

  • Other forms

    Work Location:

  • One location


  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Paid time off

  • Flexible schedule

    Paid Training:

  • Yes


  • Team Lead


  • Monday to Friday

    Company's website:

  • Temporarily due to Covid-19
  • ×

    Purchasing Agent

    Gates Lumber Company is a window, door and millwork company based in Memphis, TN.

    We are currently looking for an experienced Purchasing Agent to join our company. All applicants must have excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills along with Intermediate to advanced level of computer skills.

    The ideal candidate would be someone with the ability to self-motivate and handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment. Applicant must have a good understanding of the window, door and millwork industry.

    Essential Duties:

    Ordering special order and stock inventory items

    Handle of special projects

    Inventory control and maintaining inventory levels

    Process receipts of inventory items, may inspect, accept or reject goods received and oversee RGA’s

    Responsible for verifying materials received vs. invoice

    Heavy telephone contact with vendors

    Excellent customer service skills maintaining an effective working relationship with other employees.

    This is a fulltime position. Upon permanent placement you would be eligible for the following





    Life & Insurance

    Short- & Long-Term Disability

    Paid Holidays

    Paid Vacations


    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $17.00 to $21.00 /hour


  • manufacturing/distribution office setting: 5 years (Preferred)

  • purchasing: 5 years (Preferred)

  • purchase orders: 5 years (Preferred)


  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Paid time off


  • Assistant Manager

  • Ops Manager

    Typical start time:

  • 8AM

    Typical end time:

  • 5PM


  • Monday to Friday

    Benefit Conditions:

  • Waiting period may No
  • What does a Purchasing Agent do?

    Purchasing Agents are employed by organizations to locate potential products or materials for them to resell or to enhance their daily operations. They’ll typically spend time conducting extensive research on the best suppliers, services, goods, vendors and manufacturers to purchase from. Purchasing Agents will then use this research to find and maintain suppliers who are reliable, cost-efficient and produce quality products. 

    They’ll regularly monitor the organization’s inventory levels to help them understand their purchasing needs and schedule orders. Purchasing Agents typically work closely with suppliers and vendors to review cost proposals and negotiate prices and contracts. Once they’ve ordered products, Purchasing Agents are responsible for keeping and filing records of these purchase orders, contracts, receipts and transactions.


    Purchasing Agent skills and qualifications

    A Purchasing Agent should have the following skills and qualifications to be effective on the job: 

    • Negotiation skills
    • Analytical skills
    • Judgment and decision-making skills
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills
    • Interpersonal skills


    Purchasing Agent salary expectations

    A Purchasing Agent earns an average of $49,865 per year. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education and geographical location. Some Purchasing Agents can earn an average of $10,000 per year through commissions.


    Purchasing Agent education and training requirements

    Education requirements for Purchasing Agents vary widely depending on location and organization. Although some employers accept high school diplomas and GEDs, most prefer a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or a related field. Those entering the manufacturing industry often need a bachelor’s and even a master’s degree in engineering. In this circumstance, preference usually goes to those with advanced knowledge within the subject area. Further advancement in the field requires certification from the American Purchasing Society or a related entity.


    Purchasing Agent experience requirements

    Purchase Agents usually have around 2 to 3 years of experience as an entry-level Buyer before advancing to this position. Individuals earn their experience through internships, work study programs and entry-level positions. Industrial and manufacturing organizations provide plenty of internship opportunities for students. Moving on toward management positions sometimes requires 5 years of experience as a full-time Purchasing Agent. Some organizations may offer additional training as necessary for individuals fulfilling these roles.


    Job description samples for similar positions

    The role of a Purchasing Agent is versatile, but there are many similar positions. If this job description template isn’t what you’re looking for, see our job descriptions for these related positions:

    Frequently asked questions about Purchasing Agents


    What are the different types of Purchasing Agents?

    There are many different Purchasing Agents who work in a wide variety of fields and industries locating specific products and materials for their organizations. Farm Product Purchasing Agents will purchase agricultural materials, like cotton, tobacco or grain, to either process within their company or they’ll buy products to resell to others. 

    Industrial Purchasing Agents visit various industrial sites to purchase their equipment to use in the company’s manufacturing warehouse. Others may act as more general Purchasing Agents who will purchase clothing items, electronics or other merchandise materials from companies to resell directly to consumers. 


    What settings do Purchasing Agents typically work in?

    A majority of a Purchasing Agent’s shift is spent in an office environment, researching potential vendors and suppliers and making calls to current ones. They’ll usually call or email suppliers directly from their desk to determine prices and gain more information on the materials they provide. When they’re ready to purchase a product, sign contracts or negotiate prices, the Purchasing Agent may travel to the supplier’s location of choice to conduct the meeting in person. 


    Who does a Purchasing Agent report to?

    Purchasing Agents typically report to a Purchasing Manager, who’s in charge of developing purchasing strategies and ensuring the purchasing team follows these plans accordingly. Purchasing Managers will typically conduct one-on-one sessions with Purchasing Agents to provide them with feedback on their work performance and to advise them on ways to improve themselves.

    If Purchasing Agents are having challenges working with other employees or with suppliers, the Purchasing Manager will address and resolve the issue accordingly. 


    What makes a good Purchasing Agent?

    To be a successful Purchasing Agent, candidates should have impressive negotiation skills to obtain quality products that fit within the organization’s budget. They should be great communicators since they’re regularly meeting, collaborating and building relationships with suppliers and vendors. Strong Purchasing Agents must use their extensive financial knowledge to review budgets and financial data to ensure they make purchases that the company can afford.

    Proficiency in software systems like inventory management systems is typically preferred in ideal candidates as they must regularly use these systems to input purchasing details. Organizational abilities are also important for the ideal candidate to have as they must store and manage several contracts, receipts and purchasing documents to quickly and efficiently retrieve later on. 

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