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Purchasing Coordinator Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Purchasing Coordinator Do?

Purchasing coordinators manage an organization’s procurement process. By working with internal and external stakeholders, they identify procurement needs, evaluate suppliers and vendors, negotiate contracts, and ensure the timely delivery of goods and services. Government agencies, manufacturers, retailers, and non-profit organizations typically employ professionals in this role.

A purchasing coordinator must possess strong analytical, communication, and negotiation skills, as well as an understanding of procurement processes and supply chain management. These individuals should also be able to manage several projects simultaneously and prioritize tasks based on the organization’s priorities and deadlines. It is essential that purchasing coordinators maintain quality standards and identify cost-saving opportunities, as well as keep compliance standards in place.

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National Average Salary

Purchasing coordinator salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Purchasing Coordinator is:


Purchasing Coordinator Job Descriptions

Crafting the perfect job description may be the key to finding an exceptional purchasing coordinator. To help you with your recruiting search, our team has put together some examples from past openings.

Example 1

We’re looking for a motivated and hard-working purchasing coordinator to work at [Your Company Name]. The purchasing coordinator will be in charge of ensuring that the goods and products needed for the functioning of [Your Company Name] are purchased on time and at the quantity needed. You will be responsible for contacting suppliers, negotiating deals and expiring contracts, and more. A bachelor’s degree in finance or supply chain management is preferred. This position is part-time with the potential to expand to full-time in the future. Although not required, having previous experience in this line of work is a benefit. If this job sounds interesting to you, and you are willing to put in the effort and time in order to be successful, please apply!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assess products, services, and vendors 
  • Develop and implement recommendations for supply chain management optimization 
  • Negotiate pricing and sourcing details with vendors
  • Conduct product and service quality appraisal 

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in finance, supply chain management, or another business-related field. Many employers prefer candidates who have procurement experience or certifications. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Strong analytical, decision-making, and negotiation skills 
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with clients and vendors 
  • Solid interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written 
  • Ability to multitask and manage multiple deadlines 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite tools and other software as required 

Preferred qualifications

  • 3+ years of supply management experience
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • Previous experience managing purchase orders
  • Knowledge of Shopify
  • Ability to quickly identify product

Example 2

This position provides support to the logistics department through the processing of daily transactions and assisting in the processing of data critical to business operations.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Reconcile customer material billing
  • Maintain daily inventory reconciliations
  • Reconcile invoice to purchase order price variances
  • Process purchase requisitions and purchase orders
  • Track and report material backorders from vendors
  • Analyze data and forecast requirements with vendors
  • Set up, plan, and coordinate with vendors
  • Maintain and create detailed reports
  • Track and trace freight
  • Perform internal inventory audits
  • Complete ad hoc reporting and data entry as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

Experience and education

  • Two years of purchasing/logistics experience preferred
  • Associate’s degree (A.A.) or equivalent from a two-year college or technical school

Technical skills

  • Wireless telecom or utility construction industry experience preferred
  • Computer and Microsoft Office proficiency
  • Ability to utilize an inventory management system

Soft skills

  • Highly organized and detail oriented
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment under tight deadlines
  • Ability to think analytically, apply sound judgment, and solve problems

Physical requirements

  • Must be able to pass pre-employment screening that includes background and drug testing
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and a driving record that meets Company requirements
  • Ability to work in various settings with moderate to loud noise levels
  • Ability to sit at a desk for 6-8 hours a day
  • Ability to work on a computer for 6-8 hours a day
  • May be required to work long and unpredictable hours, including weekends

Example 3

Summary of position:

The primary role of the Purchasing Coordinator is to support the purchasing and construction departments to deliver homes on time, on quality, and on budget. Ensure that all contractors and vendors are approved to work and contracted to build homes at competitive prices that meet predetermined schedules and quality expectations. Ensure that ABC Company is 100% accurate and updated.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Set up new vendor and trade packages
  • Send DocuSign pricing agreements to trade partners and file in the database
  • Assist Purchasing Manager in recruiting new vendors and trade partners
  • Assist accounting with any outstanding payment issues
  • Assist with architectural and structural plan updates from the field
  • Create and revise purchase orders in Company Enterprise for new starts and changes
  • Analyze purchase orders on job start report and revise if necessary
  • Perform record retention duties
  • Maintain rebate-tracking systems
  • Review and price lot-specific changes and coordinate with construction/trades/sales
  • Assist with the creation and maintenance of specification documents
  • Perform related administrative and clerical duties as assigned

Experience, skills, and knowledge:

  • Associate degree preferred
  • Strong Excel skills required; strong computer skills and willingness to learn new software
  • Residential construction knowledge
  • Exceptional communication skills – both written and verbal
  • Self-motivated with attention to detail; positive attitude, and ability to work as a team member
  • Strong organizational skills and time management skills

Work environment:

  • The work environment is representative of an office/field setting
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet to moderate
  • Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the described essential functions of the job

Physical demands:

While performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee is required to talk and hear. Vision abilities required by the job are close vision. The employee is often required to sit and use their hands and fingers to handle, feel, and operate office equipment such as a computer, copier, and office supplies. You may be asked to drive for this position. In addition, the employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, reach with their arms and hands, and stoop, kneel, or crouch. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the described essential functions of the job.

Example 4

Responsible for maintaining accurate and timely purchase order processing. Monitor stock levels and reorder merchandise to ensure proper levels. Support sales staff to process special orders and research products for customers. Serve as primary contact for associates with product and order status questions.

Primary tasks & responsibilities

  • Creates accurate purchase orders by verifying specifications and pricing on a project and regular stock products. Submits all purchase orders created to vendors and follows up to ensure receipt
  • Researches purchase order discrepancies to identify root causes and develop action items to resolve
  • Verifies all requisitions have been converted to purchase orders to fulfill orders and install dates
  • Enters backorders and communicates backorder status regularly with teams. Coordinates substitute items to meet customer needs and timelines
  • Ensures all products are purchased within correct price guidelines and with any and all applicable discounts. Escalates pricing discrepancies found between vendor order acknowledgments
  • Enters order acknowledgments and expected delivery dates from vendors on submitted orders. Handles vendor returns, aged inventory and canceled orders. Coordinates resolution on issues with suppliers such as over or under orders
  • Assists with training new and existing associates. May work on more complex or challenging accounts
  • May work with customers on claims processing to recover material and/or labor cost on defective items.

Work environment

  • Most of the time is spent sitting or standing in the same location or there may be a need to stoop regularly or move/lift light material or equipment (typically less than 8 pounds)
  • Located in a comfortable indoor area. Any unpleasant conditions would be infrequent and not objectionable.

Education & experience

  • A High School Diploma or GED required
  • Specialized skills training/certification may be required
  • Generally, 2-5 years of experience in area of responsibility
  • SAP experience is not required, but is preferred
  • Familiarity with vendor systems and ordering processes
  • Must pass work eligibility requirements

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP). The Certified Purchasing Professional certificate is offered by the American Purchasing Society in order to ensure the quality and expertise of a purchasing professional. This certificate can be immensely beneficial to the career of a purchasing coordinator or professional, as it is widely and globally recognized.
  • Purchasing Coordinator Experience Certificate. The Purchasing Coordinator Experience Certificate allows purchasing coordinators to showcase their previous experience and expertise in the field of purchasing. This is useful for any purchasing coordinator looking for a job from a potential employer.

How to Hire a Purchasing Coordinator

There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring a purchasing coordinator:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Are you hiring for a project or an ongoing need?
  • Urgency: How soon does the opening need to be filled? What happens while it remains open?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

We recommend CareerBuilder when hiring a purchasing coordinator:


CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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3. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • How do you approach the procurement process?
  • Which criteria do you use to evaluate suppliers and vendors and identify purchasing needs?
  • How did you ensure that all parties were satisfied with the outcome of a complex contract?
  • Do you have a strategy for ensuring the timely delivery of goods and services, and how do you address delays in the supply chain?
  • How would you go about managing an inventory to ensure that product stays at ideal levels?
  • Describe how you prioritize tasks and meet deadlines while managing multiple purchasing projects simultaneously.
  • When it comes to procurement, what are the methods you use to identify cost-saving opportunities, and how do you maintain quality and compliance standards while reducing costs?
  • How do you plan out exactly how much to purchase each quarter?
  • How would you collaborate with internal stakeholders to determine purchasing needs and formulate procurement strategies aligned with organizational priorities?
  • What strategies have you used to address compliance challenges related to procurement regulations and policies?
  • What resources have you used to develop your procurement expertise, and how do you stay current with procurement regulations and standards?
  • Have you ever placed an incorrect order? How did you rectify the situation?

Need help hiring a Purchasing Coordinator?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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