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Retail and Wholesale Buyer

Retail and wholesale buyers source, price and purchase goods, materials and equipment for resale in retail or wholesale stores.

Also Known As

Junior Buyer, Merchandiser, Purchasing Analyst, Senior Buyer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 6233: Retail and Wholesale Buyers

2006 NOC-S

  • G133: Retail and Wholesale Buyers

2011 NOC

  • 6222: Retail and wholesale buyers

2016 NOC

  • 6222: Retail and wholesale buyers

2021 NOC

  • 62101: Retail and wholesale buyers

2023 OaSIS

  • 62101.00: Retail and wholesale buyers
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers are responsible for ensuring that the retail or wholesale store they work for is receiving a sufficient flow of goods, materials, equipment or other merchandise for resale. Depending on the organization they work for, buyers may:

  • review their store’s supply requirements and determine the quantity and type of merchandise to purchase
  • locate and network with vendors and suppliers
  • negotiate prices and quantities and close out purchases
  • organize transportation of purchases to central warehouses
  • maintain close knowledge of the store’s customers and their buying habits
  • analyze historical and current data related to regular, promotional and seasonal supply-and-demand trends
  • ensure quality control of purchased merchandise
  • analyze product performance and return on investment (ROI)
  • supervise the work of other buyers
  • in small organizations, oversee distribution of merchandise to stores and manage inventory levels.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary

Retail and wholesale buyers usually spend a large portion of their time working in office environments, but may also spend time on the sales floor observing and interacting with customers. Travel is sometimes required. Before making purchases, buyers occasionally visit factories where goods are produced in order to select products or negotiate with sellers.

Buyers must occasionally work long hours, weekends, and overtime, especially during high-demand seasons.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Retail and Wholesale Buyers

2006 NOC: 6233

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in co-ordinating information to study market reports, trade periodicals and sales promotion materials; and in visiting trade shows, showrooms, factories and product design events


Interest in negotiating prices, discounts, credit terms and transportation arrangements when interviewing suppliers


Interest in overseeing distribution of merchandise to outlets, in maintaining adequate levels of stock and in supervising the work of other retail buyers

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers need:

  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • organizational skills
  • negotiation skills and the ability to work with many different people
  • customer service skills
  • logical and critical thinking skills
  • problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • the ability to work alone or as a team
  • the ability to think and plan strategically
  • the ability to handle stressful situations and frequent deadlines
  • the ability to adapt to a changing environment
  • a willingness to take calculated risks
  • an understanding of how to manage money.

They should enjoy negotiating, taking a methodical approach to compiling information and being responsible for projects and the work of others.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Retail and wholesale buyers

2016 NOC: 6222

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 113 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between May 06, 2023 and May 24, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Attention to detail
Tasks: Arrange product according to planogram
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Flexibility
Tasks: Establish and maintain contact with suppliers
Computer Systems: Own transportation
Tasks: Maintain adequate stock levels
Work Setting: Various locations
Computer and Technology Knowledge: Internet
Construction Specialization: Accurate
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Minimum Education Varies

There are a variety of ways to become a retail or wholesale buyer. In the past, high school graduates started in entry-level positions such as purchasing clerk, expediter or junior buyer, or in departments where stock is processed (for example, in stores or shipping and receiving). However, most employers now prefer to hire applicants who have post-secondary education in business administration, commerce, supply chain management or economics, especially for positions that involve cost analysis, legal issues or contract administration.

A number of employers provide on-the-job training for newly hired retail and wholesale buyers.

Computer skills and familiarity with commonly used word processing, spreadsheet and database programs and with other technology used in e-commerce and ordering is a definite asset.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.


Supply Chain Management Professional

Supply chain management professionals buy goods, materials, supplies, and services as required by their organization.


Under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf] and Supply Chain Management Association Alberta Regulation [pdf], you must register with the Supply Chain Canada, Alberta Institute to use the protected title Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself a Supply Chain Management Professional.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Supply Chain Management Professional.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Retail and wholesale buyers are employed by any store or chain that resells goods, materials, equipment or other merchandise.

A typical advancement path might be from a clerical position to junior buyer to senior buyer. With experience, buyers may advance to management positions.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6222: Retail and wholesale buyers occupational group, 76.2% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6222: Retail and wholesale buyers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 66 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Retail and wholesale buyers

2016 NOC: 6222
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6222 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $30.29 $22.10 $22.36
Overall $16.00 $37.12 $25.97 $26.28
Top $19.00 $50.21 $33.33 $31.67

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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