Purchasing - Graduate Jobs and Internships

Buyer/Purchaser

Are you interested in becoming a professional buyer? In this section you can find more information about what the occupation involves along with examples of the universities offering programmes that will give you access to this profession.

What are the characteristics of this job?

Professional buyers or retail buyers are continuously searching for the best compromise when buying products or services for the company they work for. What is their objective? To negotiate the best prices for quality products, working to strict deadlines. Buyers must, most importantly, increase their company's turnover figure. The procurement function normally appears in a company once it has around 50 to 100 employees.

Working in mass distribution or industry, buyers start by prospecting and selecting suppliers who cater to the company's needs. After this step, known as sourcing (a phase of researching and evaluating suppliers), comes the negotiation of the proposition. The buyer then monitors the suppliers they have worked with in the hope of maintaining a business relationship. A buyer's goal is not simply to get the lowest prices possible, but to convince and work closely with suppliers.

Companies recruiting buyers include: Asda, BBC, Coors, Kimberly-Clark, KFC, HSBC, Amazon, Thomas Cook, Coca Cola, Clarks, Costa, Tesco, Crown Paints, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Nationwide, Philips, WHSmith, The University of Warwick, McLaren Racing, Sky, Vodafone, Bentley and many others.

Similar occupations

A Buyer can work in many different sectors such as industry (companies in the automotive industry, construction and fashion are most likely to recruit Buyers), services, distribution and even the public sector. Jobs that are similar to Buyer include the following: Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), Warehouse Manager, Dispensing Optician, Retail Merchandiser, Retail Manager, and Purchasing Manager.

What skills are needed for this occupation?

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Ability to network and influence others
  • Teamworking and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Numeracy skills and IT proficiency
  • Organisation and time management skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Ability to cope with pressure and make important decisions
  • Capability to meet strict deadlines and reach targets
  • Motivation and determination
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Commercial awareness
  • Creative and confident
  • Leadership attributes
  • Passion for retail
  • Adaptable

What qualifications are necessary?

A qualification in a relevant retail or business subject if preferred but it is a good idea to be specific to the sector you wish to work in from the outset, e.g. if you wish to work in the fashion industry then it would be preferential to have a bachelor's degree in Fashion Management or a similar discipline. Graduate programmes are also available to develop your skills and add to your work experience.

If you have no degree or related qualifications it is also possible to work your way up inside a company, however this path is much more competitive. Work experience is very important for any job, so it is highly advisable to gain as much work experience as possible in retail jobs before applying for higher positions.

Universities offering buying and merchandising programmes:

  • University of the Arts London
  • De Montfort University Leicester
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • The University of Manchester
  • Southampton Solent University
  • University of Kent

Salary of a Buyer

A young graduate starting off as a buyer can expect to earn between £18,000 and £25,000, with salary increasing with experience. A senior buyer can expect to earn a salary anywhere between £55,000 and £70,000 per year.

You can find job, internship and work placement opportunities for purchasing by creating a profile on Wizbii.

45 jobs found

AutoReq ID 137645BR Job Title Associate - Financing & Procurement - Power & Utilities - CF Infra Country United Kingdom Location London Function...

Zodiac Aerospace est un leader mondial des équipements et systèmes aéronautiques pour les avions commerciaux, régionaux et d’affaires, ainsi que pour les hélicoptères et le spatial. La société dév...

Job Description Trainee Buyer Location: Reading Are you a fashion fanatic and want to be part of our growing company? As a Trainee Buyer at Primark, you’ll play a key role i...

Liebherr in the USA In line with its international growth, Liebherr’s venture into the United States began in 1970. Within a couple of years, the company expanded and completed its production facili...

ENGIE are recruiting for a Helpdesk and Purchasing Operative to be based at  Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, Haslingden Rd, Blackburn BB2 3HH  . This is a 12 Month   Fixed...

Procurement Intern : UAV Programme - Zephyr (12 months) Airbus DS Farnborough Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017, it generated revenues of € 67 billion an...

This is a varied and busy role providing purchasing support to stakeholders. Working as part of the sourcing team, the Procurement professional will be involved in negotiating and contracting with sel...

The main activity of the Tactical Buyer is to create documents regarding orders following approved prescriptions, meeting all predefined standards for quality, following existing measures and deadline...

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  Salary Competitive & Excellent Benefits ·  Role area Buying & Merchandising ·  Contract type Permanent ·  Job reference HRGTQ323887 ·  Location Milton Keynes MK9 2NW ·  We have fantastic oppor...

Job Title Women in Business (First Year), Deals, Birmingham, 2019 Job Description The PwC Deal No matter which area of the business you choose to join, all routes offer the sa...

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This is a varied and busy role providing purchasing support to stakeholders in France and BeNeLux region. Working as part of the sourcing team, the Procurement professional will be involved in negotia...

Join Accenture and help transform leading organizations and communities around the world. The sheer scale of our capabilities and client engagements and the way we collaborate, operate and deliver v...

Solvay Wrexham manufactures prepregs (fibres combined with resin) on multiple reinforcements as well as resin systems for infusion, resin transfer moulding systems, adhesives and potting compounds for...

• Locating products • Negotiate pricing, recognize market trends and in-demand items • Developing and maintaining business relationships with Vendor Reps. • This position interfaces internally with th...

Company: Our Client started out as an idea. An idea to house the best, most awesome toys and games and everything else fun, all under one roof. It’s tiring to scour all over for these items in their r...

Mission *Before applying, please ensure you are eligible to a VIE contract https://www.civiweb.com/EN/le-volontariat-international/VI_CONDITIONS.aspx* Based in Pierre Fabre Germany's headquarters i...

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