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How Do I Become a Purchasing Assistant?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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A purchasing assistant provides a range of support to a purchasing department or manager. His job may entail tasks related to inventory, documentation, and planning as well as some customer service-related duties. To land this job, you will likely need a high school diploma or an associate's degree as well as computer, software, and communication skills, and related experience. For example, if you have worked in a retail or wholesale environment, your experience may help you land this job. Additionally, organizational skills and a track record of meeting deadlines may help you get hired as a purchasing assistant.

A basic education level is usually required when you want to become a purchasing assistant. Most companies look to hire purchasing assistants who have high school diplomas or equivalent credentials that are accepted in your jurisdiction. You may find a few jobs, however, that are reserved for individuals who have at least a little more education. For example, you might find some jobs ads seeking candidates who have at least associate's degrees. Usually, a degree in a field such as business, manufacturing, accounting, or finance is considered appropriate for a person who wants to become a purchasing assistant.

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If you've chosen to become a purchasing assistant as a step in your career, you may do well to continue your education. A combination of higher education and experience in purchasing may help you advance in the purchasing field. For example, if your goal is to eventually become a purchasing manager, you may need a bachelor's degree. As such, continuing your education part time while you work full time may help you toward career advancement.

Related experience may also help you land a job when you want to become a purchasing assistant. For example, if you have experience in a retail or wholesale business, it might prove helpful for landing this type of job. Merchandising- and stock-related positions could also provide experience you can use once you become a purchasing agent.

Computer skills are usually critical for a person who wants to become a purchasing assistant. You will usually need experience using word processing and spreadsheet programs, for instance. Often, these jobs also require experience with inventory database programs and the Internet. If you are not familiar with a program a company uses in purchasing, the ability to learn quickly will likely prove important as well.

Usually, communication skills are highly important when you want to become a purchasing assistant. If you have held a previous job in customer service or sales, these jobs may help you prepare for work in purchasing. The ability to stay organized, follow instructions, and meet deadlines is also important for this line of work.

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