Job description for a purchasing administrator

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Purchasing professionals procure the best materials and supplies for an organisation at the lowest price. Around 42 per cent of purchasing professionals work in manufacturing or wholesale. Purchasing administrators oversee the purchasing department in an organisation as well as the buyers and purchasing assistants.


The purchasing administrator directs the activities of buyers and assistants in the purchasing department. The purchasing administrator analyses suppliers to find the best price, quality and delivery for the organisation. The administrator will meet with suppliers to negotiate the best contract to meet the needs of the company. Many organisations follow a lean manufacturing philosophy, which requires the purchasing administrator to determine which suppliers can deliver products, materials and supplies as quickly as possible to keep inventory levels low. Purchasing administrators who work in a wholesale organisation must determine which products the company will purchase for resale to the public. This requires the administrator to predict the products that will sell well to the public. The purchasing department in an organisation may also find services such as IT support for the company.


A purchasing administrator is a part of the management staff in an organisation. Companies may require a minimum of a degree to hold the position of an administrator or manager. Manufacturing organisations may prefer administrators with a degree in engineering, which ensures the technical knowledge to analyse raw materials used in production. Organisations may also hire purchasing administrators with degrees in business or economics.


Purchasing administrators must be skilled negotiators to arrange the best contracts with suppliers for the organisation. In a manufacturing organisation, the purchasing manager must be able to understand technical information when determining the best supplier for the company. The administrator must be able to perform financial analysis and understand supply-chain management. Good communication skills are essential in this position.


The average salary for a purchasing administrator is £35,000, as of June 2014, according to the National Careers Service. Experience, the geographic location of the company and the size of the organisation affect the salary of a purchasing administrator.

Job opportunities

Job growth for purchasing professionals should be about 7 per cent until 2018.