Career in Focus: Purchaser

Career in Focus: Purchaser

A construction purchaser is responsible for purchasing the equipment, supplies and labour needed for a particular construction project. Let’s have a look at what a career as a construction purchaser involves and where your career can take you.

What does a purchaser do?

Purchasers are primarily involved in buying the amount of time, labour and materials are going to need to be expended in order to deliver a particular construction project. On most construction projects, in your career as a purchaser, you would be responsible for the following:

  • Selecting relevant metrics with which to purchase accurately
  • Visiting necessary suppliers, vendors and warehouses in order to gather sufficient information
  • Working with engineers and architects in order to gather the necessary information about the project
  • Conducting and refining risk analysis of the project and possible outcomes and obtaining best value
  • Creating and presenting reports to purchasers, senior management and clients
  • Analysing and evaluating offers to clients and suggesting alternatives
  • Establishing and maintaining strong supply chain relationships


As a purchaser, you will be involved at a strategic level before the project commences but is likely to be needed throughout complex and large scale projects in order to ensure all is in order. With this in mind, you would most frequently be working with roles such as:


Professional qualifications

Most purchasers come from a construction background where they may have quantity surveying experience or have experience in economics. A third-level qualification in engineering, construction science or civil or structural engineering are other well established routes. Increasingly data science is particularly relevant in terms of this sector so if you have a degree or professional experience in areas relating to data science or analysis then if could be a route into a career as a purchaser.


Where your career can take you?

A career as a purchaser is diverse and challenging, there is a lot of technology and data to analyse but it is also a career built on relationships so you can expect to considerably expand your professional network during the course of your career. As you develop your career as a purchaser you will be expected to be familiar with industry standard software such as HCSS HeavyBid and Timberline and have exceptional time management and organisation skills with the ability to multitask, have critical thinking ability and communicate well.