Purchasing Agent

Grade: IS-1105-09
Term of Appointment: Permanent
Type of Position: Trust


The incumbent of this position serves as a purchasing agent for the National Air and Space Museum.

The National Air and Space Museum is among the most visited museums in the world.  Upwards of nine million people each year visit the National Air and Space Museum in the National Mall Building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  The Museum is comprised of seven major departments headed by an executive team.  There are approximately 280 full-time employees and 90 part-time employees.  The annual operating budget is approximately 35 million dollars plus an additional $250 million being raised to support Transformation efforts to reimagine all display and common areas in the National Air and Space Museum in the National Mall Building. 

The Purchasing Agent will assist in the NASM Departments in processing a large volume of small purchases to support the mission, as well as working with the Smithsonian Institution Office of Contracting on larger purchases. 

Major Duties

The Purchasing Agent supports the Museum in acquiring supplies and services to meet the needs of the Museum.  This work includes soliciting quotes for Request for Quotations (RFQs) and may include development of Request for Proposals (RFPs).  The Agent may also place delivery orders against established contracts.  The Agent will establish contract vehicles, prepare purchase orders, develop blanket purchase agreement and make credit card purchases within purchase dollar limitations.  The Agent is also responsible for approving travel by employees and interacting with employees to assist in their purchasing and travel needs.  The Agent will ensure that all purchases conform with SI acquisition regulations.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of a wide range of acquisition methods, principles and practices to include negotiating and awarding purchase orders for services, goods, or studies.

  • Ability to determine and develop criteria/technical ranking factors for purchases.

  • Knowledge of price analysis techniques to evaluate prices or costs for requirements when adequate price information is not available.

  • Ability to evaluate allowable charges for requirements involving special features such as out of state repairs by non-local vendors.

  • Knowledge of various acquisition clauses such as those pertaining to inspections, acceptance, packaging or testing.

  • Ability to administer and monitor complicated purchase orders and to understand the complexity of acquisition problems.

  • Ability and comprehensive experience in written communications; working knowledge of Microsoft Office software; and the ability to learn new financial management software.

  • Ability to use initiative to make or recommend purchases for recurring requirements or for making more efficient buys.

  • General knowledge of Purchase Card policies and procedures.

  • General knowledge of systems, policies and procedures used to support Travel for an organization.


Basic Requirement:

Degree: Bachelor's degree (or higher degree) that included or was supplemented by at least 24 semester hours in a field related to the work of the position.

OR Combination of Education and Experience: At least 24 semester hours in a field related to the work of the position. The experience must have demonstrated (1) a thorough knowledge of the principles underlying the work of this position, and (2) understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the methods and techniques applied in performing work in this position.

OR Specialized Experience: Three years of specialized experience, which includes delivering STEM education programs in an informal education setting. This definition of specialized experience is typical of work performed at the next lower grade/level position in the federal service (GS-7 or above).

Security Clearance

Some jobs require a security clearance.  The security clearance level depends on th type  of access to the classified information and secure faclities that you'll need to perform your job.

For jobs that require a security clearance, you'll need to provide at least 10years of personal information and maybe more.  You'll need to complete the Standard Form 86 (SF86).

staff photographing the star ship enterprise

To Apply

Send resumes and transcripts to NASMHRHiring@si.edu, by COB December 20, 2019; please use (Purchasing Agent - 09) in the subject line.

The Smithsonian is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

"The Smithsonian is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for all. We will never waver from that commitment”. – Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Lonnie G. Bunch III