How do I Become a Purchasing Agent?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2019
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A purchasing agent helps the company he works for buy large quantities of goods at discounted prices. In order to become a purchasing agent, you should first obtain a bachelor's degree in business administration or supply chain management. Apply for jobs where you are likely to purchase items you are familiar with. Consider an entry-level position, such as a purchasing clerk in order to gain valuable experience.

Although a high school diploma is the only education required to become a purchasing agent, you can set yourself apart from other candidates by obtaining a bachelor's degree. Complete a degree in warehouse management or business administration. Look for colleges that offer courses in contracts, accounting, and transportation in order to prepare you for your future career.

Consider training in hazardous material management. This could help you become a purchasing agent for a company that deals with a great deal of chemicals. Check with any local environmental agencies to see if they offer any seminars or if they can recommend any online training programs.

Visit local temporary employment agencies and tell the hiring manager you would like to become a purchasing agent. Ask whether any local companies have openings in their purchasing departments. Working at a temporary position could open the door to full-time employment later.


Send your resume to companies that hire purchasing agents. Some likely targets might be distribution centers, retail stores, factories, and machine shops. Tailor your resume to each individual company. Highlight any experience you have working in this type of business, even if it does not relate to purchasing.

Working for a government agency is a good way to become a purchasing agent. Check with hiring authorities for local and federal governments to see if there are any available positions in your area. You may also want to check government websites and post your resume to these sites if possible. In some areas government resumes must meet specific requirements, so you may want to take a class on how to properly prepare a government resume.

When you are called for an interview, try to find out as much as you can about the company before meeting with the human resources manager. Try to find out a little about the industry in general as well. This information could help you become a purchasing agent, as many companies like their buyers to be knowledgeable about the products they will be acquiring.



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