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Career and Education Opportunities for Wholesale Buyers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Wholesale buyers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. Currently, 1,350 people work as wholesale buyers in Iowa. This is expected to grow 1% to 1,360 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for wholesale buyers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.2% over the next eight years. Wholesale buyers generally buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods.

The income of a wholesale buyer is about $21 per hour or $44,050 per year on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 hourly or $48,710 annually on average. Wholesale buyers earn less than people working in the category of Representation generally in Iowa and less than people in the Representation category nationally. Wholesale buyers work in a variety of jobs, including: assistant buyer, resident buyer, and purchasing specialist.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as a wholesale buyer. Given that the most common education level for wholesale buyers is some college courses, it will take a short time to learn to be a wholesale buyer if you already have a high school diploma.


Wholesale Buyer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, wholesale buyers buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods. They also analyze past buying trends, sales records, and quality of merchandise to determine value and yield.

Wholesale buyers examine orders, and purchase products consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, and other factors. They also set or recommend mark-up rates, mark-down rates, and selling prices for products. Equally important, wholesale buyers have to interview and work closely with vendors to obtain and design desired products. They are often called upon to negotiate prices, discount terms, and transportation arrangements for products. Finally, wholesale buyers talk with sales and purchasing personnel to obtain data related to customer needs and preferences.

Every day, wholesale buyers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for wholesale buyers to analyze and monitor sales records, trends and economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns and decide on what the company will sell and how much inventory is needed. They are often called upon to use computers to organize and locate inventory, and operate spreadsheet and word processing software. They also conduct staff meetings with sales personnel to introduce new products. They are sometimes expected to inspect products or products to establish value or yield. Somewhat less frequently, wholesale buyers are also expected to authorize payment of invoices or return of products.

Wholesale buyers sometimes are asked to train and supervise sales and clerical staff. and furnish clerks with data to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs and style number. And finally, they sometimes have to examine orders, and purchase products consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, and other factors.

Like many other jobs, wholesale buyers must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:


Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has 2 areas of study related to Wholesale Buyer. They are:

  • Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, associate's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Apparel and Accessories Marketing Operations, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated one, three, and four students respectively in 2008.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.