Trim buyers fill the fabric requirements for a product or product line within budget. Typically they handle all aspects of purchase negotiations, including color, pricing and logistics. Most trim buyers work in clothing production, but they may also work in other sectors that require the purchase of fabric, such as home-furnishings manufacturing. Salary levels for the role are comparable to those for other purchasing professionals.
For the purposes of its national employment survey of May 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics classified trim buyers alongside other retail and wholesale buyers of durable and non-durable goods. It reported that the mean yearly salary across this occupational group was $56,300. At the time of writing, pay comparison website Indeed.com reported that the average salary for a trim buyer specifically was $66,000 per annum.
Salary by Industry
Of the industry sectors detailed in the bureau's survey, trim buyers are likely to be employed primarily in these sectors: apparel, piece goods, notions merchants wholesalers, and miscellaneous durable goods merchant wholesalers (for instance, furniture manufacturers). The bureau listed the mean annual salaries within these two sectors as $66,000 and $56,760, respectively. By way of contrast, buyers working in machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers earned a mean of $52,830, while those employed by paper and paper-product merchant wholesalers earned a mean of $55,410 per annum.
Salary by Location
The bureau reported that the state in which wholesale and retail buyers of all types were likely to earn the highest salaries was New Jersey, which had a mean of $68,430. New York State and Minnesota completed the top three locations with mean yearly wages of $65,700 and $62,620, respectively. Pay rates were almost identical between Rhode Island and Maryland, at $61,370 and $61,240, while Vermont and Hawaii were amongst the states with the lowest salaries (means of $44,350 and $41,390, respectively).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that wholesale and retail buyers -- the category that includes trim buyers -- will see a small increase in employment opportunities over the coming years. In comparison, the country as a whole across all occupations is expected to grow by between 7 and 13 percent between 2008 and 2018. The consolidation, merger and acquisition of buying departments within the retail sector will be the cause of this stagnation. Thus, wage levels for trim buyers are unlikely to improve significantly in the immediate future.
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