Assistant Purchasing Agent

Public Sector
Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

As an Assistant Purchasing Agent in the Public Sector industry, you'll be responsible for helping to manage procurement operations for government agencies. Your duties will involve working with vendors to source materials and services, and negotiating contracts and prices. You'll also collaborate with departments within the organization to ensure that their purchasing needs are met, while adhering to budgetary guidelines and regulations. Additionally, you'll be tasked with managing purchase orders, ensuring timely delivery of goods and services, and maintaining accurate records of all transactions. The Assistant Purchasing Agent job description requires strong communication and analytical skills, as well as attention to detail and the ability to work well under pressure. A degree in business administration or related field is often preferred, along with several years of related experience.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Research and identify purchasing needs of organization
  • Maintain records of purchase orders and vendor information
  • Evaluate vendor proposals and negotiate contracts
  • Monitor inventory levels and reorder supplies as needed
  • Collaborate with other departments to ensure timely delivery of goods and services
  • Provide support to senior purchasing agents as needed
  • Assist in developing policies and procedures for purchasing activities
  • Respond to inquiries from vendors and staff regarding purchase orders and invoice payments 
  • Attend meetings and training sessions to keep up-to-date on purchasing best practices and regulations.

Experience and Education Requirements

Getting a job as an Assistant Purchasing Agent in the Public Sector usually requires a combination of education and experience. Most employers require at least a high school diploma, but some prefer a bachelor's degree in a related field like business administration, accounting, or finance. Having a certification like the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) can also open doors for job opportunities. Experience-wise, employers typically look for candidates with a few years of work experience in purchasing or procurement. Strong analytical, communication, and negotiation skills are important in this role as well. Some companies may require familiarity with specific software or databases related to purchasing.

Salary Range

The salary range for an Assistant Purchasing Agent in the Public Sector industry varies depending on location, organization size, and experience. According to, the average salary for an Assistant Purchasing Agent in the United States is $45,956 per year with a range between $32,000 and $64,000. 

In Canada, the average salary for an Assistant Purchasing Agent is CAD$47,048 per year based on the data from In the United Kingdom, an Assistant Purchasing Agent can expect to earn an average of £22,434 per year based on the data from

It's important to note that the salary range is also dependent on the industry the organization is in. For example, Assistant Purchasing Agents specializing in healthcare may earn higher salaries compared to those in government or education sectors.


Career Outlook

An Assistant Purchasing Agent is a vital member of a team that is responsible for purchasing goods and services for their respective organization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of purchasing agents and buyers is projected to decline by 7% from 2019 to 2029. However, this decline is less pronounced in the public sector industry due to the significant role government agencies and municipalities play in the purchasing process. The demand for Assistant Purchasing Agents in the public sector is expected to remain steady over the next five years. The job outlook for this role may vary depending on the specific location and industry but overall, it is a reliable career path for those interested in the procurement sector.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an Assistant Purchasing Agent, and what do they do?

A: An Assistant Purchasing Agent is responsible for assisting the Purchasing Agent in procurement of goods and services for a public organization, such as a government agency, school district, or municipality. This includes coordinating bidding processes, generating purchase orders, and managing supplier relationships.

Q: Are there any education or experience requirements to become an Assistant Purchasing Agent?

A: While requirements may vary by organization, most Assistant Purchasing Agent positions require a high school diploma or GED. Some positions may require a college degree in business, supply chain management, or a related field. Experience with procurement, purchasing, or supply chain operations is generally preferred.

Q: What kind of skills are necessary to be successful in the role of an Assistant Purchasing Agent?

A: Essential skills for an Assistant Purchasing Agent include excellent verbal and written communication, attention to detail, problem-solving capabilities, and proficiency in Microsoft Office applications. Strong organizational skills, the ability to multitask, and knowledge of procurement regulations are also important.

Q: What is the salary range for Assistant Purchasing Agent positions in the public sector?

A: The salary for Assistant Purchasing Agents varies depending on geographic location, organization size, and level of experience. According to, the average salary for an Assistant Purchasing Agent in the United States is approximately $46,000 per year.

Q: What are some career advancement opportunities for Assistant Purchasing Agents in the public sector?

A: Assistant Purchasing Agents may have opportunities for career advancement within their organization, such as promotion to a Purchasing Agent position. Other career paths may include positions in supply chain management, logistics, or operations management, either within their organization or with other companies in the private or public sector.

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