Purchasing is an important industry for the UK's economy and job market, covering a range of areas including inventory, procurement and supply chain. Purchasing professionals are needed across most sectors such as construction and sales, and can involve public and private sector organisations. Popular positions include strategic buyer, commercial manager and production controller, all of which can be sourced by regional and national purchasing recruitment agencies.
The average salary for qualified purchasing staff can vary due to the diversity of jobs within the sector. A typical procurement officer can expect a wage of between £25K-£30K whereas experienced senior buying managers can command salaries of up to £60K. Other job roles in the industry include commercial director, demand planner, supply chain associate and graduate merchandiser. The average industry salary for the UK as a whole sits at £25K although professionals in London can expect higher financial rewards.
When sourcing candidates for clients, purchasing recruitment agencies will generally search for those with qualifications such as NVQs and degrees. Previous experience is also valued though and working your way through a company from an administration role can offer a realistic route into the industry. Entry-level applicants will benefit from qualifications in finance or economics whereas management and executive jobs will usually need a diploma in procurement and supply. An agency may carry out an executive search to find these high calibre professionals. Candidates who register their CVs for permanent, contract and temporary vacancies should note that financial awareness, an aptitude for market research and good organisation are skills looked for by employers wanting to recruit.