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How to become a Purchasing Administrator

purchasing administrator careers

What does a Purchasing Administrator do?

Purchasing administrators, also known as contract administrators, help to manage the buying in of goods and services for organisations. The work includes liaising with departmental managers to determine their requirements, sourcing suppliers of goods and services and inviting tenders.

The tenders are then evaluated and negotiations are conducted with the selected suppliers, and terms of contract are then drawn up with legal specialists.

The work involves contact with people both within the employing organisation and externally. Purchasing administrators spend much of their time using trade directories and catalogues. Using a computer is also an important part of the work, in order to record and analyse information, and to keep records.

What's the working environment like working as a Purchasing Administrator?

Purchasing administrators work 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Where deadlines must be met, hours could be longer.

The work is office-based. In some jobs travel to other parts of the UK and even Europe may be necessary. A driving licence is normally required.

What does it take to become a Purchasing Administrator?

To be a purchasing administrator you should:

  • be aware of how businesses, local government and other public organisations operate
  • have good oral and written communication skills
  • be numerate and computer literate
  • have a pleasant, confident manner for dealing with a range of people
  • be able to work well as a member of a team
  • have the ability to analyse and assess information
  • be well organised and methodical
  • pay attention to detail
  • have good negotiation skills
  • be able to work to deadlines.

Purchasing Administrator Career Opportunities

Purchasing administrators are employed throughout the UK by manufacturers, commercial companies, local authorities and other public bodies such as the Civil Service and the National Health Service. Large organisations have specialist buying departments. Smaller organisations might have purchasing work done by one person or just a few people.

Purchasing administrators may become purchasing managers. They might need to move to gain promotion. They may move into related work, such as distribution, marketing or sales.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Purchasing Administrator that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
Easton House
Easton on the Hill
Tel: 01780 756777

Courses to help you become a Purchasing Administrator