Purchasing and Inventory Control Workers

Occupation:Purchasing and Inventory Control Workers
Category:Business, Finance, and Administration

About the job

Nature of work:

Purchasing and inventory control workers process purchasing transactions and maintain inventories of materials, equipment and stock. They are employed by retail and wholesale establishments, manufacturing companies, government agencies and other establishments.

Job duties:
Purchasing control workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Review requisition orders for accuracy and verify that materials, equipment and stock are not available from current inventories.
  • Source and obtain price quotations from catalogues and suppliers and prepare purchase orders.
  • Calculate cost of orders and charge or forward invoices to appropriate accounts.
  • Process purchases within purchasing authority.
  • Contact suppliers to schedule deliveries and to resolve shortages, missed deliveries and other problems.
  • Prepare and maintain purchasing files, reports and price lists.
Inventory control workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Monitor inventory levels as materials, equipment and stock are issued, transferred within an establishment or sold to the public using manual or computerized inventory systems.
  • Compile inventory reports, recording the quantity, type and value of materials, equipment and stock on hand, using manual or computerized inventory systems.
  • Prepare requisition orders to replenish materials, equipment and stock.
  • Maintain stock rotation and dispose of and account for outdated stock.
  • Enter data for production scheduling, stock replenishment/relocation and inventory adjustments.
  • Reconcile physical inventories with computer counts.
Sample job titles:
  • inventory clerk
  • inventory control clerk
  • inventory planner
  • procurement clerk
  • purchase order clerk
  • purchasing clerk
  • purchasing clerk assistant
  • purchasing control clerk
  • supply clerk

To work in these fields, you must be organized and attentive to detail. Your work must be accurate. Good communication skills are important. You need to be able to work as part of a team. Computer skills and the ability to work with technology may be helpful.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Courses in purchasing management may be required for purchasing clerks.
  • Courses in production and inventory management and ability to operate a computerized inventory system may be required for inventory clerks.
Other considerations:

The duties of purchasing and inventory clerks may overlap in some establishments. Progression to supervisory positions or more senior jobs such as purchasing agent or retail buyer is possible with additional training or experience.

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 decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. 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 Inventory Control Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 55% of Purchasing and Inventory Control Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $43,017. 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 and Inventory Control Workers605decline slightly30Moderate
Minimum: $12.00
Median: $17.00
Maximum: $26.74
Minimum: $6,376
Median: $31,771
Maximum: $58,699
Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration63,775Moderate growth6,600Low
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $21.03
Maximum: $35.90
Minimum: $6,754
Median: $36,515
Maximum: $70,271
Purchasing and Inventory Control WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
Percent employed full-time82%81%
Percent self-employed12%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentPurchasing and Inventory Control WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton4%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley14%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgePurchasing and Inventory Control WorkersCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4548
GenderPurchasing and Inventory Control WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
EducationPurchasing and Inventory Control WorkersCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school9.0%x4.7%$23,775
High school42.3%$44,76923.7%$30,074
Trades certificate3.2%$63,3445.8%$32,871
College certificate or diploma30.1%$45,14434.4%$33,837
University certificate or diploma3.2%x3.0%$35,053
Bachelor's degree10.9%$46,57122.9%$39,473
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx1.7%$40,672
Master's degreexx3.6%$23,407
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.1%$41,688
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.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
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

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Program Name:General office occupations and clerical services
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to provide basic administrative support under the supervision of office managers, administrative assistants, secretaries, and other office personnel. These programs include courses in typing, keyboarding, filing, general business correspondence, office equipment operation, and communications skills.
See all institutions providing this program+
Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
Centre for Distance Education
222 George Street, Suite C
Sydney, NS B1P 1J3
(866) 446-5898
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.