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Purchasing Agents

Also called: Buyer, Procurement Specialist, Purchasing Agent, Purchasing Manager

Where in the Marine Corps? In the Marine Corps: Acquisition Specialist; Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ALandT) Contracting NCO; Contracting Apprentice; Contracting Helper; Contracting Journeyman; Distribution Management Specialist; Logistics Plans Craftsman; Logistics Plans Helper; Logistics Plans Superintendent; Postal Clerk; Supply Systems Technician

What they do:
Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.


Arts and Humanities
  • English language
  • management
  • accounting and economics
Safety and Government
  • law and government
  • movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Resource Management
  • making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent
  • managing your time and the time of other people


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • use rules to solve problems
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information


People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Initiative
  • Cooperation
  • Self Control


You might use software like this on the job:

Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • Microsoft Great Plains software
  • SAP software
Accounting software
  • Intuit QuickBooks software
  • National Job Cost software
Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Xactware Xactimate


Education: (rated 4 of 5)
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about purchasing agents.