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.

43 jobs found

POSTING END DATE: 27/07/2018 LOCATION: Gaydon, Warwickshire  ADVERTISED SALARY: 37,819-45,000   An ever-evolving heritage. A truly exciting future. Two of the world’s most iconic b...

POSTING END DATE:25/07/2018 LOCATION: Whitely, Coventry  ADVERTISED SALARY: 37819-45000   An ever-evolving heritage. A truly exciting future. Two of the world’s most iconic brands....

POSTING END DATE: 25/07/2018 LOCATION: Gaydon, Warwickshire ADVERTISED SALARY: 37819-45000   An ever-evolving heritage. A truly exciting future. Two of the world’s most iconic bran...

Vous avez envie de vivre une aventure professionnelle et humaine ? Alors n'hésitez plus ! Nous vous proposons une expérience enrichissante dans le cadre d'une alternance au sein de la direction de l’O...

CHATEAUDUN-PAULSTRA (FRA) Description du poste Equipementier automobile de rang 1, filiale du groupe Hutchinson spécialiste du caoutchouc, nous concevons, développons et fabriquons des suppo...

Our Procurement Department is seeking a confident and proactive Administrator to join their vibrant, close knit team. The Procurement Department is responsible for sourcing and managing goods and se...

C-series Buyer, Aerostructure Procurement Airbus Filton Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017, it generated revenues of € 67 billion and employed a workforce...

Job ID 1022940 Date posted 6/28/2018 Primary Location Erskine, Scotland, United Kingdom Job Category Graduate programs and Internships, Supply Chain and Operations Schedule...

Job details General information Reference number 2018-4750   Job details Category OPERATIONS - ENGINEERING/PRODUCTION Job title Purchasing/buyer (energy sector) Contract Permanent contr...

LA GARENNE COLOMBES-NOVA(FRA) Description du poste Ses missions principales sont : ·  Pricing des offres de fourniture d’électricité et de gaz naturel ·  Définir et analyser les princ...

A Purchasing Supervisor will supervise the purchase of goods and materials required by the hotel in adherence to policy and with cost reduction and profitability in mind. What will I be doing?...

ENGIE are recruiting for a Graduate Quantity Surveyor to be based in Waltham Abbey, EN9 1DX. This is a permanent full time role working Monday to Thursday 8:00 - 17:00 and Friday 8:00 - 16:00. On of...

ApplyLocation:Maidenhead, England, United KingdomArea of InterestSupply ChainJob TypeProfessionalTechnology Interest*NoneJob Id1233943New Buyer / Planner - Supply Chain Operations (Smart Card) The ro...

  Location Chelmsford, Essex ·  Salary £ 18000 - £ 25000 / Year ·  Category Procurement & Supply Chain - Buyer / Puchasing ·  Job type Permanent ·  Industry Procurement and Supply Chain ·  Extern...

  • By Adecco UK Limited Thatcham

  Location Thatcham, Berkshire ·  Salary £ 20 - £ 25 / Hour ·  Category Procurement & Supply Chain - Buyer / Puchasing ·  Job type Permanent ·  Industry Procurement and Supply Chain ·  External R...

  • By Adecco UK Limited Brierley Hill

  Location Brierley Hill, West Midlands ·  Salary £25,000.00/Year ·  Category Industrial & Manufacturing and Production - Manufacturing ·  Job type Permanent ·  Industry Industrial and Manufacturi...

  Location Slough, Berkshire ·  Salary £ 20000 - £ 25000 / Year ·  Category Procurement & Supply Chain - Buyer / Puchasing ·  Job type Permanent ·  Industry Procurement and Supply Chain ·  Extern...

  Location Basingstoke, Hampshire ·  Salary £ 9 - £ 10 / Hour ·  Category Procurement & Supply Chain - Buyer / Puchasing ·  Job type Temporary ·  Industry Procurement and Supply Chain ·  External...

Procurement Specialist Istanbul Job description The Procurement Specialist will be responsible for performing procurement activities as well as providing administrative support to the Adm...

Buyer Airbus Filton Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017, it generated revenues of € 67 billion and employed a workforce of around 130,000. Airbus offers th...

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