careers.novascotia.ca

Purchasing Agents and Officers

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NOC:1225,1315
Occupation:Purchasing and Customs Agents, Officers, and Brokers
Category:Business, Finance, and Administration

About the job

Nature of work:

Purchasing agents buy general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights and business services for use or for further processing by their establishment. They are employed throughout the public and private sectors.

Customs brokers clear goods through customs and to their destination on behalf of importer and exporter clients. Ship brokers buy and sell cargo space on ships and buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft on behalf of clients. This group also includes other brokers, not elsewhere classified, who negotiate commercial transactions, logistics or other services between parties on behalf of clients. They are employed by customs, ship or other brokerage establishments or may be self-employed.

Job duties:
Purchasing agents and officers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Purchase general and specialized equipment, materials, land or access rights, or business services for use or for further processing by their establishment.
  • Assess requirements of an establishment and develop specifications for equipment, materials and supplies to be purchased.
  • Invite tenders, consult with suppliers and review quotations.
  • Determine or negotiate contract terms and conditions, award supplier contracts or recommend contract awards.
  • Establish logistics of delivery schedules, monitor progress and contact clients and suppliers to resolve problems.
  • Negotiate land acquisition or access rights for public or private use, and may conduct field investigations of properties.
  • May hire, train or supervise purchasing clerks.

Purchasing agents and officers may specialize in the purchase of particular materials or business services such as furniture or office equipment.

Customs brokers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare and process import/export documents and other forms on behalf of clients according to customs regulations, laws and procedures.
  • Sign import/export documents on behalf of client, using power of attorney.
  • Arrange for payment of duties, taxes, storage and transportation of imported goods and bonds to cover duty goods.
  • Quote duty and tax rates on commodities for clients.
  • Provide advice to clients on export and import restrictions, tariff systems, letters of credit, insurance requirements and other custom related matters.
  • May represent client before administrative tribunals or in other dealings with government officials.
Shipbrokers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Buy and sell cargo space on ships on behalf of individuals, companies and governments.
  • Consult trade publications and other sources to provide information to clients on available cargo space, destinations, rates and departure locations and times, and arrange ship charters for clients.
  • Negotiate rates and terms and prepare contracts and other papers.
  • Buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft on behalf of clients.
  • Inspect vessels, explain features and negotiate price when purchasing or selling for clients.
  • Arrange for insurance coverage for cargo or for ships.
  • Arrange for registration and licensing of ships.
Sample job titles:
  • advertising buyer
  • cargo broker
  • contract negotiator
  • customs broker
  • land agent
  • procurement officer
  • purchaser
  • purchasing agent
  • ship agent
  • shipbroker
Skills:

To work in this field, you need excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. You must have good negotiation skills and be attentive to detail. The ability to analyze detailed information accurately and quickly is necessary in order to make decisions. You must have initiative and be willing to accept new ideas and take risks. You must be efficient and aware of customer needs. Familiarity with computers would be helpful.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is required and some post-secondary education in commerce or a related field may be required to work in these jobs.
  • A bachelor's degree or college diploma in business administration, commerce or economics is usually required for purchasing agents and officers.
  • A certificate in purchasing from the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) may be required for purchasing agents and officers.
  • Certification from the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) may be required.
  • Customs brokers require several years of on-the-job training and completion of a customs brokers training program through the International Federation of Customs Brokers Association. A customs broker licence, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency, is required for an individual or company to operate a customs brokerage business.
  • Correspondence courses from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers are available for shipbrokers.
Other considerations:

Progression to managerial positions is possible with experience. There is no mobility between the different types of brokers in this group.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Purchasing and Customs Agents, Officers, and Brokers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 79% of Purchasing and Customs Agents, Officers, and Brokers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $52,367. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Purchasing Agents and Officers860Strong growth180Low
Minimum: $16.00
Median: $25.96
Maximum: $36.00
Minimum: $24,255
Median: $50,506
Maximum: $80,357
All NS Occupations427,305Weak growth33,315Moderate
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $19.89
Maximum: $40.00
Minimum: $2,872
Median: $29,983
Maximum: $83,126
Purchasing Agents and OfficersCompared to: All NS Occupations
Percent employed full-time96%78%
Percent self-employed4%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentPurchasing Agents and OfficersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern9%x12%$30,581
Northern13%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton6%x13%$32,974
Halifax59%x47%$41,209
Annapolis Valley13%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgePurchasing Agents and OfficersCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
15-242%x
25-3418%6%
35-4425%19%
45-5434%36%
55-6423%28%
65+2%11%
Median Agex48
GenderPurchasing Agents and OfficersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% Employed% Employed
Female41%49%
Male59%51%
EducationPurchasing Agents and OfficersCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school2.8%x4.7%$23,775
High school27.3%x23.7%$30,074
Trades certificate11.3%x5.8%$32,871
College certificate or diploma29.3%x34.4%$33,837
University certificate or diploma3.6%x3.0%$35,053
Bachelor's degree21.5%$53,36322.9%$39,473
University advanced certificate or diploma1.1%x1.7%$40,672
Master's degreeN/Ax3.6%$23,407
Doctorate3.3%x0.2%$48,614
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$41,688
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Customs Broker
Not Provincially Regulated:This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.
Regulating body:
Canada Border Services Agency
1969 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3R7
(800) 461-9999
Useful contacts:
Supply Chain Management Association of Nova Scotia
PO Box 21, Halifax CRO
Halifax, NS B3J 2L4
Tel: (902) 425-4029
Fax: (902) 431-7220
info@scmans.ca
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
320, 55 Murray Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3
Tel: (613) 562-3543
Fax: (613) 562-3548
cscb@cscb.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Applied economics
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of economic principles and analytical techniques to the study of particular industries, activities, or the exploitation of particular resources. These programs include courses in economic theory; microeconomic analysis and modelling of specific industries and commodities; the economic consequences of resource allocation decisions; regulatory and consumer factors; and the technical aspects of specific subjects as they relate to economic analysis.
See all institutions providing this program+
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Program Name:Business administration and management - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. These programs include courses in management theory, human resources management and behaviour, accounting and other quantitative methods, purchasing and logistics, organization and production, marketing, and business decision-making.
See all institutions providing this program+
Maritime Business College - Dartmouth
45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6
(902) 463-6700
admissions@maritimebusinesscollege.ca
Eastern College - Halifax
6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111
Halifax, NS B3L 0B7
(902) 423-3933
Success College
800 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8
(902) 865-8283
Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
careers@aolhrm.com
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
waterfront.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning
Unit 37, 115 Chain Lake Drive
Halifax, NS B3S 1B3
(877) 491-6774
online.learning@nscc.ca
Program Name:Business administration, management and operations - Other
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Business Administration, Management and Operations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Business/commerce - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and non-profit public and private institutions and agencies. The program prepares individuals to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Economics - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the systematic study of the production, conservation and allocation of resources in conditions of scarcity, together with the organizational frameworks related to these processes. These programs include courses in economic theory, microeconomics and macroeconomics, comparative economic systems, money and banking systems, international economics, quantitative analytical methods, and applications to specific industries and public policy issues.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Additional resources: