Buyer (#483110)
$35.90-$43.63 Hourly / $6,222.29-$7,563.23 Monthly / $74,667.44-$90,758.73 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Performs a variety of professional, technical, and analytical duties in support of centralized purchasing in accordance with County purchasing policies, procedures, regulations as well as State, Local and Federal laws; negotiates prices; coordinates purchasing activities for the procurement of materials, supplies, equipment and services for assigned commodities.


This is a journey level class, characterized by the responsibility for coordinating and administering all purchasing activities and contracts for assigned commodities and user departments.  Employees work within a framework of established procedures. Incumbents are expected to perform a full range of duties with only occasional instruction or assistance.  This class is distinguished from the Buyer (Senior) in that the latter is responsible for organizing and overseeing ancillary services which are part of the departments operations.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives general supervision from the Central Services Manager.  May receive technical and functional guidance from the Senior Buyer as appropriate.
Exercises no supervision over assigned staff; provides guidance and direction to procurement services users.

Examples of Duties

  • Receives and reviews requisitions for accuracy; confers with department representatives to determine needs and to develop specifications considering budget allocations, marketing conditions and product availability; researches sources of supply; attends trade shows, reads periodicals, and product literature, interviews market representatives, and evaluates sample products to gain resource information; approves requisitions and issues purchase orders, and implements current trends and practices in public purchasing.
  • Assists other departments with related tasks; prepares product specifications; provides cost estimates for budgeting purposes; prepares fund transfer requests, invoices, claims, payable and receivable information; advises and consults with departmental representatives on procurement matters and assists in resolving issues.
  • Negotiates lease/purchase and rental agreements; engages independent service contractors on behalf of the County; interviews vendor representatives and develops and maintains relationships with vendors, the public and other County employees; provides training to vendors and user departments on purchasing procedures and changes in procedure.
  • Prepares specifications, requests for quotes, advertisements, and purchase orders; contracts vendors for bid quotations; analyzes bids received by costs and calculates quantity conversions as necessary to conduct accurate analysis and provide proper comparison of bids; tabulates bids for analysis to determine best value.
  • Coordinates recycling efforts and disposal of surplus materials and equipment for the County.
  • Provides overall recommendations and ideas to enhance the procurement program; provides recommendations for policy and procedures improvements and changes; recommends grouping and standardization of products to obtain more competitive pricing; conducts surveys to recommend and determine quantity of goods and services required by departments and institutions.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of : 

  • Generally accepted procurement practices including but not limited to commodity markets, market practices, and pricing methods.
  • County rules and regulations regarding the procurement of goods and services.
  • Trends in the procurement industry.
  • Resource options available to procure needed goods and materials.
  • Bidding process, specification preparation and related activities.
  • Departmental activities and materials used to accurately determine appropriateness of requisitions submitted for approval.

Skills to:

  • Operate office equipment including a personal computer, copy and fax machines and printers.

Ability to:

  • Review and determine appropriateness of submitted requisitions for approval.
  • Evaluate bids and quotations to determine most competitive pricing and quality of goods.
    Apply rules and regulations in performing procurement tasks.
  • Prepare accurate and clear specifications for goods and services.
  • Consult with and advise departments on various procurement issues.
  • Communicate tactfully and effectively with a wide variety of employees, vendor representatives, officials and County management.
  • Train and educate internal users, vendors, suppliers, and others involved in the County procurement process.
  • Prepare effective written communications and refer to local and regional providers of products, services and equipment.
  • Conduct procurement activities through the internet and electronic commerce.
  • Determine and evaluate levels of achievement and performance of vendors.

Education and Experience

  1. Three years of experience of procurement services experience that would provide working knowledge of principles and practices of purchasing including the preparation of specifications, evaluations, awarding bids, inventory control, and ethical government procurement policies and practices. AND
  2. A high school diploma and college level coursework in business management and/or administration.

Possession of a Certified Purchasing Manager’s Certification (CPM) is desirable.


Possession of a valid Class C California driver’s license may be required.


Independent travel is required.

ADA Compliance

Physical Ability :  Tasks involve the ability to exert light physical effort in sedentary to light work, but which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of light weight (5-10 pounds).  Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation.
Sensory Requirements:  Some tasks require visual perception and discrimination.  Some tasks require oral communications ability.
Environmental Factors:  Tasks may risk exposure to adverse environmental conditions, such as dirt, dust, pollen, odors, and traffic hazards.

CLASS: 483110; EST: 6/30/2003;