Are you looking to change your career? If you are considering becoming a purchasing agent, it is a career path that has a lot of growth potential. If you are up to the task of handling all of the purchasing agent duties and like dealing with people, it might be perfect for you.
What are the purchasing agent duties?
The purchasing agent typically finds and buys products and services for companies. These are either used by the company or they are sold to others. Purchasing agent duties include finding the best prices, looking into the best quality goods and services, developing and maintaining relationships with customers, clients and vendors. They need to review and approve any contracts. The purchasing agent duties also include finding and investigating the sources for the goods and services that are needed. When applicable, the purchasing agents duties include keeping up to date on the rules and regulations that govern the sale of some items. This person negotiates all contracts and keeps detailed records and receipts of all transactions.
What kinds of training do purchasing agents get?
The companies that hire purchasing agents determine what kind of training and education levels and courses they require for their staff generally and the people they hire for their purchasing agent jobs. Most often a company will list what they expect from prospective hires in the purchasing agent job description. Many businesses require people have a bachelor’s degree in finance or business. This is a common requirement for most companies that have purchasing agents. Some companies expect applicants to have a more advanced degree such as a master’s degree or doctorate.
For the most part, purchasing agents start out at either entry level staff or in a junior purchasing agent job. This allows new hires to receive some valuable on the job training. This can help people learn more about their new employer and get to understand all of their policies and procedures. These training programs are sometimes official and sometimes not as much. Their length varies from one year to five years. Continuing education can also help advance your career.
Is there a license?
There is no formal license for a purchasing agent but there is purchasing agent certification. There are a number of different kinds of certification that can be offered by a few different organizations. You will need to have the proper education and experience to be eligible for these certifications.
Certified Supply Chain Professional: The Association for Operations Management awards the status of Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). This is typically awarded to purchasing agents after they have been on the job for at least three years or to people who have the right kind of bachelor’s degree. There is an exam the Association for Operations Management offers and information on the exam and how to pass it can be found on their website.
The Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM): This is awarded by the Institute for Supply Management. It is also available to people who have earned the right kind of bachelor’s degree and/or have have at least three years of work experience aa a purchasing agent. They have more than one exam that needs to be taken to get this designation. they require people pass three tests to receive the certificate. These exams cover many of the purchasing agent duties such as supply management, leadership and the effective management of performance in the field.
The American Purchasing Society: This organization as the first to offer any kinds of certifications for purchasing agents. Currently, there are three levels of certification that people can get from them. People who can earn these certifications must demonstrate the right skill set, strictly adhere to a specific code of conduct and maintain certain ethical standards. These are:
- The Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) Certificate: This is given after five years working as a purchasing agent. This is a basic level certificate.
- The Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) Certificate: This is the next level of certification that is offered by the American Purchasing Society. Purchasing agents who have the CPP certificate and who teach or consult in this field may be eligible for the CPP certificate. Another version of this is the Certified Green Purchasing Professional certificate.