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Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Buyers and purchasing agents acquire experience in such duties as monitoring inventory levels and negotiating with suppliers through on-the-job training generally lasting for a year once they are hired. Five years of experience as a buyer or purchasing agent is required to become a purchasing manager. Successful buyers or purchasing agents must have listening, speaking, negotiating, and persuasion skills in order to be effective. They use critical thinking, problem-solving, mathematical, and decision-making skills to identify problems and consider alternate solutions before deciding which solution is best. They should possess an analytical mind and the interpersonal skills and self-confidence to engage in negotiations that will result in the best deal for their organizations.

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