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How to Become a Purchasing Coordinator

Purchase coordinators plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. As a purchasing coordinator, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in either finance, supply chain management, or a different field that’s related. For this position, most employers require you to have either procurement experience or certifications relevant to this job. Much of your time will be spent resolving conflicts and negotiating with other people. Other duties that you will perform in this job will include building personal relationships with clients, multitasking because there will be many deadlines, being proficient with working with Microsoft Office Suite, and having excellent interpersonal skills. Coaching others and coordinating the work of your team will need to be top priority.

Sample job description

We’re looking for a motivated and hard-working purchasing coordinator to work at [Your Company Name]. The purchasing coordinator will be in charge of ensuring that the goods and products needed for the functioning of [Your Company Name] are purchased on time and at the quantity needed. You will be responsible for contacting suppliers, negotiating deals and expiring contracts, and more. A bachelor’s degree in finance or supply chain management is preferred. This position is part-time with the potential to expand to full-time in the future. Although not required, having previous experience in this line of work is a benefit. If this job sounds interesting to you, and you are willing to put in the effort and time in order to be successful, please apply!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assess products, services, and vendors 
  • Develop and implement recommendations for supply chain management optimization 
  • Negotiate pricing and sourcing details with vendors
  • Conduct product and service quality appraisal 

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in finance, supply chain management, or another business-related field. Many employers prefer candidates who have procurement experience or certifications. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Strong analytical, decision-making, and negotiation skills 
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with clients and vendors 
  • Solid interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written 
  • Ability to multitask and manage multiple deadlines 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite tools and other software as required 

Preferred qualifications

  • 3+ years of supply management experience
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • Previous experience managing purchase orders
  • Knowledge of Shopify
  • Ability to quickly identify product

Typical work environment

A purchasing coordinator is responsible for managing the purchase of products, goods, or services for a business. The purchasing coordinator is responsible for managing the relations between a supplier and business, as well as negotiating new contracts and renegotiating old contracts. The purchasing coordinator is required to ensure that the proper amount of products or services are bought at the correct times and that the company stays within budget. A purchasing coordinator will negotiate deals, contact suppliers, assess new suppliers and vendors, and appraise the quality of goods and services. Oftentimes, this position will be full-time. Purchasing coordinators usually work in the medical or supermarket industries, as these industries rely heavily on having the proper amount of goods and products on hand. A purchasing coordinator must be able to use database software and have a good mind for coordination and assessment tasks.

Typical hours

Typical hours for this position are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. 

Available certifications

A purchasing coordinator can benefit from one or more of the following certificates, as these have the potential to be relevant to the position:

  • Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP). The Certified Purchasing Professional certificate is offered by the American Purchasing Society in order to ensure the quality and expertise of a purchasing professional. This certificate can be immensely beneficial to the career of a purchasing coordinator or professional, as it is widely and globally recognized.
  • Purchasing Coordinator Experience Certificate. The Purchasing Coordinator Experience Certificate allows purchasing coordinators to showcase their previous experience and expertise in the field of purchasing. This is useful for any purchasing coordinator looking for a job from a potential employer.

Career path

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field. Employers may prefer candidates who have procurement experience and certifications. Purchasing Coordinators can advance to positions such as purchasing manager, purchasing buyer, and chief procurement officer.  

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3061 & 13-1020

2020 Employment513,400
Projected Employment in 2030494,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 4% decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift19,000 decrease

The supply chain management field, encompassing purchasing coordinators, is a multi-trillion dollar global industry. The economy very much influences this profession, and job opportunities fluctuate accordingly. Professional opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, including supply chain management certifications, are offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management.