Purchasing CoordinatorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Purchasing coordinators manage the purchase of products and services for their employers. They serve as the liaison in negotiations between their company and suppliers. It is their responsibility to assess vendors, negotiate new deals and renegotiate expiring contracts, and place orders for products and services.

Sample job description #1

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

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty mentioned satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or ability required.

Education: Associate’s degree (A.A.) or equivalent from two-year college or technical school


  • Two years of purchasing/logistics experience preferred

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

Sample job description #2

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 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 administration and clerical duties as assigned

Experience, skills, 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 to stoop, kneel, or crouch. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the described essential functions of the job.

Sample job description #3

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 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 cause 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 acknowledgements
  • Enters order acknowledgements and expected delivery dates from vendors on submitted orders. Handles vendor returns, aged inventory and cancelled 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

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a purchasing coordinator is $47,100 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$46,850$63,400
Los Angeles, California$52,850$71,500
Denver, Colorado$44,050$59,600
Washington, DC$53,650$72,600
Miami, Florida$43,850$59,300
Orlando, Florida$40,450$54,700
Tampa, Florida$40,850$55,250
Atlanta, Georgia$42,850$57,950
Chicago, Illinois$49,250$66,600
Boston, Massachusetts$53,250$72,050
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$42,450$57,400
New York City, New York$56,050$75,850
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$45,650$61,750
Dallas, Texas$44,450$60,100
Houston, Texas$44,050$59,600
Seattle, Washington$51,250$69,350
National Average$40,050$54,150

Sample interview questions

  • What experience do you have with purchase coordination and procurement?
  • Do you have any experience negotiating contracts and deals?
  • How would you go about managing an inventory to ensure that product stays at ideal levels?
  • Do you have any relevant licenses or certifications for this position?
  • How do you plan out exactly how much to purchase each quarter?
  • Are you able to successfully deal with data and use database software?
  • Which software are you most familiar with?
  • Have you ever placed an incorrect order? How did you rectify the situation?
  • If you were asked to formulate a report as to what a company needed at a given time, how would you go about doing this and what information would you include in the report?

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