Purchasing Assistant

Career Area: Business Management and Operations

Occupation Group: Procurement

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Purchasing Assistant earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $46,164

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $43,963

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Assists buyers and staff in the purchasing or procurement department of a business or store. Assists with checking and completing purchase orders, communicates with vendors and suppliers, maintains records and provides data entry.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina391-3.2%
Nationwide13064-4.3%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Purchasing Assistant is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Microsoft Excel: Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft.
  • Organizational Skills: Experience with a systematic process of structuring, integrating, co-ordinating task goals, and activities to resources in order to attain objectives.
  • Detail-Oriented: A detail oriented person is someone who pays attention to the details and can make a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects, and that does this in a second nature type of way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Purchasing: Purchasing refers to a business or organization attempting to acquire goods or services to accomplish the goals of its enterprise.
  • Procurement: Procurement is the process of finding, agreeing terms and acquiring goods, services or works from an external source, often via a tendering or competitive bidding process.
  • Data Entry: Working experience of Data Entry. Data entry is the professional term for entering information into a computer or data-recording system using an electronic or mechanical device.
  • Scheduling: Working experience making schedules, which are basic time-management tools, consisting of a list of times at which possible tasks, events, or actions are intended to take place withing an organization.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Purchasing Assistant that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Procurement Contracts: A procurement contract is an agreement in which a buyer agrees to acquire goods or services from a seller in exchange for consideration.
  • Invoicing: An invoice, bill or tab is a commercial document issued by a seller to a buyer, relating to a sale transaction and indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller had provided the buyer.
  • Invoice Processing: Experience managing incoming invoices and ensuring they are paid.
  • Purchase Requisitions Processing: Apurchase requisitionis a document used as part of the accounting process to initiate a merchandise or supply purchase. By processing a purchase requisition, appropriate controls can monitor the legitimacy of a purchase, as well as identify the business need for the products.
  • Contract Management: Contract management or contract administration is the management of contracts made with customers, vendors, partners, or employees.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years60%
3 to 5 years34%
6 to 8 years2%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Purchasing Assistant
  • Purchasing Specialist
  • Purchasing Clerk
  • Procurement Coordinator
  • Buyer Assistant

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