Purchasing Assistant Job Description

Purchasing Assistant Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a purchasing assistant job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a purchasing assistant. Feel free to use our purchasing assistant job description template to produce your own purchasing assistant job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a purchasing assistant.


Who is a Purchasing Assistant?

A Purchasing Assistant is an individual who aids or assists purchasers or managers to complete inventory checks, proofreading order forms, filling out forms, and performing market research. They also conduct one on one meetings with vendors to ensure that all goods are checked and delivered at the appointed time. To achieve all these, they must have an in-depth understanding of the general sales and market research according to the industry they find themselves in. Although this solely depends on the business, purchasing assistants are also responsible for building a bond with distributors, suppliers, and manufacturers and ensuring that the demanded products are always in stock. The progressive or typical advancement of the career of a purchasing assistant is to be promoted to the rank of a purchasing manager or other positions.

On a typical day, the work schedule of a purchasing assistant starts with him or her checking his emails or voicemail if there are any updates on product needs for budget expenses.  They also evaluate the progress of some particular shipments and also take a record of the estimated delivery times. Throughout their day, they engage themselves in meeting with the purchasing, accounting, and sales departments to deliberate and finalize which product did well and the product fell beyond expectation during the previous quarter.

The work schedule mostly involves them sitting in the office at a desk and during this time, Purchasing assistants make contacts with Vendors to renew contracts or order more shipments. They also invest their time to make research about prospective vendors who can offer wholesale products and matches employers’ needs and price point.

A purchasing assistant works under or reports to the Purchasing manager within a corporation. These individuals are saddled with the responsibility of conveying information to Purchasing Assistants about budgeting and new Vendors to contact. Purchasing Assistants may also report indirectly to a Purchaser or Buyer who they work with closely within the establishment to help them track orders and contract vendors.


Differences between a Purchasing Assistant and a Salesperson

A purchasing assistant and a Salesperson have similar roles but there are quite some differences between the two.  The differences can be seen in the department they work in and their job focus. For instance, a purchasing Assistant typically works within the purchasing unit in an establishment while the salesperson typically works within the sales department of an establishment. The job responsibility of a purchasing assistant is to monitor inventory logs, check the accuracy, and order products. The salesperson on the other hand makes calls to prospective leads and notifies them about existing customers of sales or a new product launching. Another substantial way to differentiate between a Salesperson and a Purchasing is that a purchasing assistant maintains stock while a salesperson sells products to customers.


Purchasing Assistant Job Description

What is a purchasing assistant job description? A purchasing assistant job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a purchasing assistant in an organization. Below are the purchasing assistant job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a purchasing assistant job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a purchasing assistant are:

  • Overseeing trips to merchandising events and making travel arrangements as expected
  • Attending meetings with vendors and writing minutes
  • Positioning and trackingorders
  • Helping with analyses and reports
  • Organizing meetings with stakeholders
  • Helping with the inspection of goods
  • Encouraging negotiation strategies and making recommendations
  • Conserving knowledge of market/industry trends
  • Acting with  the purchasing manager to run the  department
  • Executing vendor research ad selection to enhance profitability, reduce operating costs and boost efficiency
  • Retaining cordial relationships at work with vendors, monitoring their performance, and renegotiating contracts
  • Utilizing quarterly annual data to determine purchasing needs and performing inventory management
  • Overseeing purchase orders, overseeing shipping schedules, and maintaining purchase records
  • Acting with warehouses staff to compare deliveries with purchase  orders to identify discrepancies
  • Administering ongoing market research to identify beneficial purchase agreements and potential vendors
  • Guaranteeing that  goods received are not damaged
  • Completing competitor analysis to identify popular products
  • Maintaining accurate records of purchases made



  • A bachelor’s degree in marketing, finance, or a similar field
  • Prior experience as a retailer is recommended
  • Powerful attention to detail
  • Ability to perform in fast-paced environments
  • Terrific written, verbal, and telephone communication skills
  • Capacity to travel abroad when required
  • Mastery in Excel
  • Experience working as a purchasing assistant in the industry is mostly given preference.
  • Extensive knowledge of industry market trends and conditions
  • Flexible to travel to meet with suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers as mandated
  • Possessing relevant certifications


Essential Skills

Purchasing Assistants must possess the following skills and competencies to carry out their duties successfully:

  • Mathematics Skills: Purchasing assistants must know some mathematical concepts such as statistics, algebra,and calculus to be able to carry out their responsibilities successfully. They used basic mathematical knowledge to be able to compare prices from different vendors and monitor purchase orders and the different kinds of deliveries.
  • Negotiating Skills: They must possess negotiating skills to negotiate with vendors, and suppliers and also negotiate the shipping fee. Although an entry-level purchasing assistant may work under a supervisor‘s guidance to negotiate with a vendor accurately without making any mistakes. To negotiate perfectly, the purchasing assistant must possess self-confidence and interpersonal skills. In the absence of negotiation skills, a purchasing assistant’s career can be in jeopardy and so it is highly paramount for them to possess negotiation skills.
  • Analytical Skills:  the purchasing manager is responsible for selecting the best products for a company and to achieve this, he or she analyzes different vendors to select the best product quality, price, and service. To accomplish this, he must possess an analytical mindset. He must also employ his analytical mindset to evaluate vendors or suppliers who supplied a poor product in the past; any vendor or supplier that supplies a poor product in the past should not be patronized by the purchasing manager again.
  • Verbal and Written Communication Skills:  Verbal skills involves communicating eloquently or good public speaking. Purchasing assistants must possess strong verbal communication skills at the office where they work to communicate with employees, sales persons, and vendors. They need to be able to speak vividly so that they will not be misinterpreted by other coworkers. This is also very crucial when they are working with a team and also when they are negotiating with vendors.

Additionally, they also need to possess writing skills to draft proposals for vendors, monitor purchase agreements, and adhere to detailed purchasing procedures.

  • Time-management: time is very essential and if time is not well managed then deadlines will not be met. A purchasing assistant must be able to schedule daily activities according to their priority.  This is very crucial for purchasing assistants who have so many responsibilities at hand. The purchasing assistant must ensure that primary tasks are first met and other tasks allow for him or her to meet up with deadlines.
  • Organization:  this skill is also highly crucial because it involves formulating simple methods to maintain order. The organization skills involve; spending time building vendor relationships, researching trends and new opportunities, supervising the purchases of inventory, and evaluating purchasing agreements.  A purchasing assistant has a bulk of responsibilities he or she must carry out daily. He or she needs to employ organizational skills to carry out these responsibilities perfectly. Organizational skills help a purchasing assistant to be accurate and to perform his or her duties without any error.
  • Technical Skills: Purchasing assistants need to possess technical skills to carry out their day-to-day responsibility. Some technical skills they may need are familiarity with word processing programs and spreadsheets, scheduling calendar appointments, conducting online research, and also utilizing financial management software.


How to Become a Purchasing

  • Earn the Basic Education

The first step to becoming a purchasing assistant is to acquire the necessary qualification. Some employers may consider candidates with a high school diploma or GED (General Education Diploma) for entry-level positions. Most employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, marketing, or any related field. Acquiring a degree is very good but you should also consider the industry you want to work in and get a degree that applies to the industry. For instance, a degree in fashion design is best applicable if you want to be a purchasing assistant in the fashion industry. More so, a purchasing assistant who wants to work in the food industry may need to acquire a degree in Food Technology.

  • Research the Industry

At this point, you need to research the industry you want to work in. There are different industries or sectors; find the one that matches your skills or the job description that matches your skills and apply for a job in such an industry.  You can also apply for internship roles in the industry to be very much familiar with the industry.

  • Gain the requisite work experience

You should enroll in an internship or take a part-time job in an organization to get relevant work experience. You can also volunteer in some companies to work in their purchasing department to acquire the requisite experience you need. Another way to get experience is to submit to a Purchasing manager or supervisor to learn how to perfectly negotiate with vendors to have extensive knowledge about the job.

  • Get Certifications

There are some vital certifications you can acquire to boost your career, purchasing assistants need to possess these certifications to prove to a competent employer that they are competent for the job even though these certifications are not mandatory. Earning a certification can also boost the career of a purchasing assistant to the level of a Purchasing manager someday. Here are some certifications a purchasing assistant can acquire;

  • Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) credential
  • Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) certification
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification
  • Draft Your Resume

Create a marketable resume that highlights your skills, education, experience, and other relevant certification you have acquired. Your work experience should be expanded to include titles, dates, and responsibilities you have in the past. Try to make your description very elaborate to showcase the impact you had on your company.

  • Apply for Purchasing Assistant Positions

Evaluate the job positions available in your locality and identify the one you are very much qualified for based on your past work experience. Once you have gotten the job placement that matches your skills and job description, write a cover letter, attach with your newly updated resume and submit it to the recruitment manager.


Where to Work as a Purchasing Assistant

Purchasing Assistants typically work in corporations such as the fashion industry, retail, manufacturing industry, healthcare, agricultural industry, and other industries that do purchase and sale of products.  They are also responsible for updating Vendor or Wholesaler contact information and also renewing Vendor Contracts.


Purchasing Assistant Salary Scale

The salary of a Purchasing Assistant salary varies country by country. Below are some examples of countries:

  • In the United Kingdom, The average purchasing assistant’s salary is £22,500 per year or £11.54 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at £21,000 per year while most experienced workers make up to £27,196 per year.
  • In Australia, The average purchasing salary is $75,526 per year or $38.73 per hour. Entry-level positions start careers at  $65,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $105,000 per year.
  • In the United States, The average purchasing assistant salary in the USA is $37,946 per year or $19.46 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $32,449 per year while most experienced workers make up to $50,000 per year. The average purchasing assistant salary in New York is $40,950 per year or $21 per hour. Entry-level positions start their careers at $35,100 per year while most experienced workers make up to $55,000 per year. The average purchasing assistant salary in California is $40,950 per year or $21 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $35,100 per year while most experienced workers make up to $55,000 per year.
  • In China, A person working as a Purchasing Assistant in China typically earns around 13,600 CNY per month. Salaries range from 6,240 CNY (lowest) to 21,600 CNY (highest). This is the average monthly salary including housing, incentives, transport, and other benefits.
  • In Nigeria, A person working as a Purchasing Assistant in Nigeria typically earns around 162,000 NGN per month. Salaries range from 74,500 NGN (lowest) to 257,000 NGN (highest). This is the average monthly salary including housing, incentives, transport, and other benefits.
  • In the Philippines, The average purchasing assistant’s salary in the Philippines is ₱ 450,000 per year or ₱ 231 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at ₱ 420,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to ₱ 597,000 per year.

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