Buyers in the construction industry procure all the materials required for building projects and ensure they are provided on time and within allocated budgets.
They play a vital role, as they ensure the profitability of business contracts, by purchasing the most cost-effective and appropriate materials for each job.
How to become a buyer
While there are no formal qualifications needed to become a buyer in the construction industry, there are several routes you could take to help you pursue this career in procurement.
You could complete a university or college course, an apprenticeship or apply directly to an employer for work.
You should explore these routes to becoming a buyer, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.
You may need a (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.
You could become a buyer by completing a foundation degree, higher national diploma (HND) or an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as business studies, purchasing logistics, or supply chain management.
You'll need :
After your studies, you could apply to become a trainee buyer through a construction company’s graduate training scheme.
College / training provider
To become a buyer, it would be beneficial to have up to 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) in maths and English, at Level 4 or above as the role requires a good standard of numeracy and literacy.
You could complete an NVQ or HND in supply chain or construction management, to gain more knowledge around purchasing and procurement, and help you progress in your career.
You could complete a commercial procurement and supply higher apprenticeship to help you become a buyer in the construction industry.
You'll need 4 - 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week.
Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.
If you’re considering a job as a buyer, you could apply to begin your career as an assistant or trainee within a construction company.
As you become more experienced, your employer might offer training around purchasing and procurement to help you progress in the role.
If you already hold GCSEs or A levels (or equivalent) and have proven experience in buying or estimating, you may be able to apply to an employer directly for a role as a buyer.
Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a buyer.
Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.
Additional skills which can be complementary to a buyer include :
What does a buyer do?
Buyers ensure that construction projects remain profitable for the contractor by purchasing cost-effective materials. As a buyer it’s useful to have an understanding of construction, so that you understand how the whole job works and fits together.
The duties of a buyer include :
How much could you earn as a buyer?
The expected salary for a buyer varies as you become more experienced.
Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.