Purchasing Agents and Officers

(NOC 1225)

in All Business, Finance, and Administration

Purchasing agents and officers purchase general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights and business services for use or for further processing by their organization. They work throughout the public and private sectors. Purchasing agents and officers may specialize in buying specific materials or business services like furniture or office equipment.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 70 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

  • Estimate -1305 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4210 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Purchasing Agents and Officers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 78% of Purchasing Agents and Officers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $52,448. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$19.23

Minimum

$26.00

Median

$45.67

Maximum

Annual Pay

$24,953

Minimum

$50,671

Median

$80,371

Maximum

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$27.85

Median

$38.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,754

Minimum

$36,515

Median

$70,271

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Purchasing agents and officers purchase general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights and business services for use or for further processing by their organization. They work throughout the public and private sectors. Purchasing agents and officers may specialize in buying specific materials or business services like furniture or office equipment.

Job duties

Purchasing agents and officers:

  • Buy general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights, or business services for use or for further processing by their organization.
  • Assess requirements of an organization and develop specifications for equipment, materials and supplies to be purchased.
  • Invite tenders, consult with suppliers and review quotes.
  • Negotiate contract terms and conditions, award supplier contracts or recommend contract awards.
  • Organize logistics of delivery schedules, monitor progress and contact clients and suppliers to solve problems.
  • Negotiate land purchase or access rights for public or private use and may carry out field investigations of properties.
  • May hire, train or supervise purchasing clerks.

Sample job titles

  • advertising buyer
  • contract management officer
  • contracts officer
  • energy asset surface land analyst
  • furniture and furnishings purchaser
  • government supply officer
  • material management officer
  • procurement officer
  • purchasing agent
  • right-of-way agent

Skills

You need excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. You must have good negotiation skills and be attentive to detail. The ability to analyze detailed information accurately and quickly is necessary to make decisions. You must have initiative and be willing to accept new ideas and take risks. You must be efficient and aware of customer needs. Familiarity with computers would be helpful.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree or college diploma in business administration, commerce or economics.
  • Purchasing agents and officers purchasing specialized materials or business services may need a related university degree or college diploma. For example, a bachelor's degree or college diploma in engineering may be necessary for purchasers of industrial products.
  • Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) from Supply Chain Canada may be required.
  • Experience as a purchasing clerk or as an administrative clerk may be required.
  • Certification from the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) may be required.

Other considerations

Movement to managerial positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

895

employed in 2016

93.9%

employed full-time

4.5%

self employed

41.9%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
58.1%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
49.7

median age

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

63,775

employed in 2016

78.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

73.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
26.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.9

median age

Where will I likely work?

58.1%

Halifax

14.5%

Annapolis Valley

12.8%

North Shore

8.9%

Southern

5.6%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

31.7%

Public administration

17.7%

Manufacturing

9.1%

Wholesale trade

8.5%

Retail trade

5.5%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

32.0%

45-54

28.0%

55-64

22.0%

35-44

11.0%

25-34

4.0%

65+

2.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

26.3%

45-54

22.6%

55-64

19.4%

35-44

16.7%

25-34

7.5%

65+

Top levels of education

28.7%

College Diploma

$50,610 median annual income
28.1%

High school

$45,754 median annual income
21.3%

Bachelor

$54,926 median annual income
12.4%

Trade Certification

$51,054 median annual income
3.4%

Master

N/A

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

33.8%

College Diploma

$36,304 median annual income
23.8%

High school

$32,903 median annual income
22.8%

Bachelor

$41,755 median annual income
5.8%

Trade Certification

$34,807 median annual income
4.9%

Less than high school

$23,174 median annual income

Education & training

Business Administration and Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. They include courses in management theory, human resources management and behaviour, accounting and other quantitative methods, purchasing and logistics, organization and production, marketing, and business decision-making.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College

Lower Sackville, NS

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

Springhill, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Various, NS

Business/Commerce

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and non-profit public and private institutions and agencies. They prepare students to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Economics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of the production, conservation and allocation of resources in conditions of scarcity, together with the organizational frameworks related to these processes. They include courses in economic theory, microeconomics and macroeconomics, comparative economic systems, money and banking systems, international economics, quantitative analytical methods, and applications to specific industries and public policy issues.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Suppy Chain Management Professional

Professional Designation: Professional designation exists and shows that the holder has met the standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

Regulating body:
Supply Chain Canada - Nova Scotia Institute
P.O. Box 21 CRO
Halifax, NS B3J 2L4
(902) 425-4029

Contacts

Supply Chain Canada - Nova Scotia Institute
Halifax, NS
International Right of Way Association
Gardena, CA - USA

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.