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Job Descriptions

Purchasing Specialist


Under general supervision from the Purchasing Supervisor, the Purchasing Specialist performs a variety of technical procurement and related services within the City's purchasing division; review purchase orders, purchase requisitions, bids, specifications, and invoices for accuracy and appropriateness; coordinate the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment and services in order to support and enhance the delivery of City services; monitor contracts to ensure compliance with purchasing and related requirements; prepare and maintain a variety of purchasing related records, files, lists and forms; respond to inquiries and provide information regarding purchasing activities, and performs other work as required.


Receives direct supervision from Purchasing Supervisor.


This is a single position classification that performs purchasing, procurement, and related services. This entry level classification provides all levels of purchasing support and coordination on a City-wide basis including the performance of technical and administrative functions. This position requires minimal knowledge of public agency purchasing/procurement processes and requirements at entry but builds knowledge and learns the special needs of a full service municipality. This classification is distinguished from the Purchasing Coordinator in that the latter is the journey level classification and performs the full range of duties.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS – Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Purchase supplies, materials, equipment, and services in accordance with the City’s purchasing ordinance, policies, and guidelines and consistent with the requester’s specifications.
  • Contact supplier/vendors to obtain competitive price bids; determine availability, terms and delivery schedule regarding specific requisitions; evaluate quote/terms; and recommend action.
  • Serve as a resource to all City staff regarding all aspects of the purchasing process; advise on purchasing policies and processes; assist in the preparation of specifications and purchase orders, researching specialty products, and/or services; gather data and provide alternatives.
  • Write requests for proposals in accordance with City’s purchasing policies and guidelines and consistent with requester’s specifications; provide supporting documentation and necessary back-up information; distribute to appropriate and approved vendors; monitor the receipt of responses to ensure timeliness and adherence to bidding process.
  • Research and negotiate designated service maintenance contracts/agreements; administer and monitor contractual terms and obligations on an on-going basis; perform on-site inspections and/or workplace reviews to ensure compliance with agreement.
  • Develop and prepare purchase orders and contracts as assigned; process paperwork and forms; verify receipt of goods; and resolve discrepancies and problems regarding price, delivery, and/or condition.
  • Order and reorder stocked items, supplies and materials according to pre-established minimums/quantities; maintain on-going liaison with Shipping & Receiving regarding inventory levels, substitutions, equivalents, delivery schedules, and vendor problems.
  • Research and develop new sources and/or potential sources of supplies, materials, and services; attend professional and industry trade shows, conferences, and workshops.
  • Assist in the maintenance of City’s fixed asset inventory; assign City identification tags to items with the appropriate division; assist in the tracking and monitoring the movement of fixed assets; and participate in the disposition of surplus and/or obsolete items.
  • Assist in training City staff in all facets of Purchasing policies, procedures, and processes/systems; review requisitions and purchase orders to ensure completeness and compliance with City policies; develop and/or modify forms and processes for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Prepare a variety of staff reports, memoranda, correspondence, spreadsheets, and reports to facilitate communications and understanding of Purchasing policies and process.
  • Perform other related work as assigned.


Ability to:

  • Plan and schedule buying activities consistent with both economy and service.
  • Make sound judgments as to quality and quantity of supplies purchased in relation to use.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain accurate records and files.
  • Prepare clear and concise specifications.
  • Buy effectively considering price, service, quality, and delivery.
  • Perform basic and accurate mathematical functions.
  • Learn types and sources of materials, supplies, services, and information on economic conditions, industry trends, commodity pricing methods, discounts, and price differentials.
  • Learn terminology used in the ordering of supplies and equipment commonly used by the various City departments.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with City staff, vendors, and the general public.

Knowledge of:

  • Applicable products and services.
  • Principles and practices of governmental procedures.
  • Billing and contract practices.
  • Computers and associated software programs for spreadsheets and correspondence.


Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities described above is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


Three years experience performing clerical, administrative, or fiscal work.


Equivalent to possession of an Associate’s Degree in business administration, marketing, purchasing, accounting, or other closely related field.


Possession of a valid California Drivers License issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles at the time of appointment and the ability to maintain it as a condition of continued employment.


Experience and knowledge regarding local municipal governmental procedures.


Maintain the following physical abilities: see well enough to view and work with computer screen for extended periods, read fine print; hear well enough to converse on the telephone in assisting the public with emergency and non-emergency situations; use of hands and fingers for use of answering telephones, computer keyboard, writing and filing.

    For questions about City employment, please contact:

    Human Resources
    156 S. Broadway, Ste. 235
    Turlock, CA 95380-5454
    (209) 668-5150
    Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

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