Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2006) $24.39 hourly, $50,730 annual
- Employment (2006) 287,000 employees
- Projected growth (2006-2016) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
- Projected need (2006-2016) 62,000 additional employees
Buyer, Purchasing Agent, Procurement Specialist, Purchasing Manager.
- Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
- Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals and review requisitions for goods and services.
- Research and evaluate suppliers based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier’s reputation and history.
- Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
- Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
- Negotiate, or renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
- Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time, and in the event of problems trace shipments and follow up undelivered goods.
- Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
- Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.
- Maintain and review computerized or manual records of items purchased, costs, delivery, product performance, and inventories.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
- Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
- Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
- Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
- Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
- Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
- Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Medium Preparation Needed
- Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
- Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.
- Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include funeral directors, electricians, forest and conservation technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
- SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0).
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree. Some may require a bachelor’s degree.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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