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Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products
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Description: what do they do?
Purchase farm products either for further processing or resale. Includes tree farm contractors, grain brokers and market operators, grain buyers, and tobacco buyers. May negotiate contracts.
Also known as:
Buyer, Grain Buyer, Grain Merchandiser, Grain Origination Specialist, Purchasing Agent, Tobacco Buyer

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: Purchasing agents and buyers of farm products are savvy shoppers, but instead of malls, they head to farms and other locations to buy livestock, oysters, cotton, fruit, grain and much more. They keep farm products moving; from the initial purchase, to quality evaluation, to storage, to sale. Purchasing agents and buyers need to thoroughly understand the needs of the marketplace so they can anticipate which farm goods are needed, how many, and when. Recognizing a good quality product when they see it is essential. Agents and buyers negotiate for the best possible terms, while dealing with farmers, brokers and processors who also want to get their best price. The majority of farm product buyers work in one of three markets in the U.S., milk, grain, or Christmas trees. They need to keep detailed records of product inventory and transactions to meet government regulations. These buyers and agents keep up to date on product innovations through research, conducting Internet searches, reading up on news and market projections, or attending trade shows to see products first hand. While this field offers a lot of autonomy, keeping in contact with customers and suppliers is a big part of the job. In addition to a four-year college degree in business or accounting, people in this field need a good working knowledge of farming.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Vermont
480
2018 Employment
440
2028 Employment
-8%
Percent change
40
Annual projected job openings
United States
449,300
2019 Employment
409,700
2029 Employment
-9%
Percent change
36,000
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Buyers and Purchasing Agents because we don’t have information for Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2019 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2029 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    Please note that these projections do not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different projections due to the rapidly changing economy. When revised data are available, they will be published here.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2019-29.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Buyers and Purchasing Agents* in Vermont
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
* You’re seeing wages for Buyers and Purchasing Agents because we don’t have information for Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationVermontUnited States
10%$34,400$38,230
25%$42,260$49,280
Median$54,070$64,380
75%$67,170$84,630
90%$80,660$107,510


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:
You’re seeing education information for Buyers and Purchasing Agents because we don’t have information for Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2019.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained
You’re seeing education information for Buyers and Purchasing Agents because we don’t have information for Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Purchase products or services.
  • Execute sales or other financial transactions.
  • Negotiate contracts with clients or service providers.
  • Coordinate logistics or other business operations.
  • Communicate with government agencies.
  • Maintain data in information systems or databases.
  • Calculate data to inform organizational operations.
  • Determine the value of goods or services.
  • Supervise employees.
  • Advise others on business or operational matters.
  • Evaluate condition of properties.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences.
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Purchase, for further processing or for resale, farm products, such as milk, grains, or Christmas trees.
  • Arrange for processing or resale of purchased products.
  • Negotiate contracts with farmers for the production or purchase of farm products.
  • Arrange for transportation or storage of purchased products.
  • Maintain records of business transactions and product inventories, reporting data to companies or government agencies as necessary.
  • Review orders to determine product types and quantities required to meet demand.
  • Examine or test crops or products to estimate their value, determine their grade, or locate any evidence of disease or insect damage.
  • Coordinate or direct activities of workers engaged in cutting, transporting, storing, or milling products and maintaining records.
  • Sell supplies, such as seed, feed, fertilizers, or insecticides, arranging for loans or financing as necessary.
  • Advise farm groups or growers on land preparation or livestock care techniques that will maximize the quantity and quality of production.
  • Calculate applicable government grain quotas.
  • Estimate land production possibilities, surveying property and studying factors such as crop rotation history, soil fertility, or irrigation facilities.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.