Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products

General Information

Description

Buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods. Analyze past buying trends, sales records, price, and quality of merchandise to determine value and yield. Select, order, and authorize payment for merchandise according to contractual agreements. May conduct meetings with sales personnel and introduce new products. Includes assistant wholesale and retail buyers of nonfarm products.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Job Outlook

Overall employment of purchasing managers and buyers and purchasing agents is projected to decline 3 percent from 2016 to 2026. Employment growth will vary by occupation. Projected employment declines of buyers and purchasing agents are expected due to increased automation and outsourcing of some procurement tasks. As procurement technology continues to improve, less complex procurement functions, such as finding suppliers or processing purchase orders, will likely be automated. In addition, some organizations may rely on third parties to handle other tasks, such as market research or supplier risk assessments. Organizations may outsource these functions in order to focus on more complex or strategic procurement tasks and to reduce costs. In the public sector, employment demand may be negatively affected by the increasing use of cooperative purchasing agreements. These agreements allow state and local governments to share resources in order to buy supplies and make other general purchases. Because the same standard contracts can be used multiple times by multiple government agencies, the rise of purchasing cooperatives may limit the need to hire additional procurement officers. Employment for purchasing managers is projected to increase because they will continue to be needed to help procure goods and services for business operations or for resale to customers.

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Salary

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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Bachelor's degree 34%
  • High school 20%
  • Less than high school 13%
  • Associate's degree 11%
  • Post-secondary certificate 10%
  • Some college 8%
  • Post-master's certificate 1%
  • Master's degree 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • First professional degree 0%

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
  • English Language

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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