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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.

  • Avg. Salary $45,146.00
  • Avg. Wage $24.00
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook avg
  • Employed 2,000
  • In Demand Medium
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: Retail and Wholesale Buyers (6233) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Retail and Wholesale Buyers (G133) 
  • 2011 NOC: Retail and wholesale buyers (6222) 
  • 2016 NOC: Retail and wholesale buyers (6222) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Interest Codes
The Retail and Wholesale Buyer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Retail and Wholesale Buyers

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

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 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 More

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

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.

  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Skills & Abilities
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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Retail and wholesale buyers
NOC code: 6222

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 28 most recent Alberta job postings, collected on Oct 27, 2021.

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.
Maintain adequate stock levels
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Initiative
Arrange product according to planogram
Personal Suitability: Client focus
Personal Suitability: Judgement
Provide customer service
Personal Suitability: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Supply Chain Management Professional

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


Supply Chain Management Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf] and Supply Chain Management Association Alberta Regulation [pdf]. This means that to call yourself a Supply Chain Management Professional, you must be a registered member of the . You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Supply Chain Management Professional.

What You Need

Registration as a Supply Chain Management Professional requires successful completion of the SCMP designation program or equivalent and certification examination. For detailed information about registration requirements, contact the Supply Chain Management Association Alberta (SCMA AB).

Working in Alberta

Supply chain management professionals who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified supply chain management professionals in Alberta and the jurisdiction which the applicant originates have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the Supply Chain Management Association Alberta (SCMA AB) website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated supply chain management professionals, see Supply Chain Management Professional Certification Process.

Contact Details

Supply Chain Management Association Alberta (SCMA AB)
115, 17420 Stony Plain Rd NW.
Edmonton, Alberta T5S 1K6

Call: 780-944-0355
Toll-free: 1-866-610-4089
Fax: 780-944-0356

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.

In Alberta, 86% of people employed as retail and wholesale buyers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors, including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 6222: Retail and wholesale buyers occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017
Retail and wholesale buyers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $32.72 $20.90 $20.00
Overall $15.38 $44.50 $24.00 $25.00
Top $16.00 $62.15 $27.44 $26.00

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
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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