The following article discusses the career path of Procurement Specialist. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Procurement Specialists.
Procurement specialists find services and goods for the business at the best possible price, thereby ensuring that the organization can minimize costs. These services and goods are wide ranging, including inventory, office supplies, raw materials, real estate, and so on. They must make sure that they operate within budgetary constrains and keep profitability at the top.
Procurement specialists can work at various different levels, from entry level to senior. At entry level positions, they may deal with purchase orders as they relate to operations, manufacturing and project management. As they grow in seniority, they may start to assess how different suppliers perform, how quickly they respond to queries and demands, and so on. Eventually, they will hold responsibility for developing new relations and, where appropriate, terminate them.
In many cases, a procurement specialist is a supportive individual. They help analyze and prepare contracts, so they must work closely together with outside vendors, finance departments, accountants, and senior management. Typically, they work during standard business hours, although some overtime may be required.
Other job duties of a procurement specialist are:
- To negotiate new prices with suppliers, focusing on factors such as timeliness and quality
- To liaise with external suppliers, expediting their goods’ delivery
- To analyze and write invoices, requisitions, supply orders, and supply requests
- To monitor and track supply needs and inventory so that orders for new items are placed in a timely manner
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 520,400 purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals are:
- Manufacturing: 23%
- Wholesale trade: 15%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 10%
- Retail trade: 9%
- Federal government: 8%
How to Become
Generally speaking, a procurement specialist holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration, or related field. Those who have a master’s degree, and particularly the master in business administration (MBA) are in the highest demand. They may also have to complete certification programs, such as the CPP (Certified Procurement Professional), CPPM (Certified Professional Purchasing Manager), and/or CPPC (Certified Purchasing Consultant).
A procurement specialist is almost always expected to hold a bachelor’s degree, although the size of the organization does play a role in this. The major of the degree should be in supply management, finance, or business or related field. Work experience is very important, as it demonstrates that someone has gained on the job training.
A procurement specialist may also obtain various forms of certification, although this is generally not a legal requirement. Appropriate certifications include:
- Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) offered by the American Purchasing Society.
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) offered by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS)
- Senior Professional in Supply Chain Management (SPSM) offered by the Next Level Purchasing Association
- Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) offered by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC)
- Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) offered by the UPPCC
All certifications are valid for a limited time only and must therefore be renewed through further training and examinations. Organizations such as the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) and the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) offer training for these courses.
A procurement specialist will typically have at least five years’ working experience in a relevant area. Usually, these professionals grow into their role through internal promotions. Others are brought in externally, in which case education weighs more heavily.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective procurement specialist have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent decision making skills
- Very good mathematical skills
- Negotiating skills
- Computer skills, particularly in relation to inventory control software
- Management and leadership skills to motivate employees across the board
- Financial skills, particularly focusing on budget management
- Strong communication skills, both verbal and written
The national average salary estimate for Procurement Specialist was $51,075. This number is estimated from over 577,524 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $26.60 and monthly of $4,256.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Procurement Specialist salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Wisconsin had the largest quoted salary of $83,641 while Idaho had the smallest quoted salary of $28,281.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Procurement Specialist. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|University of Kentucky Procurement Specialist||Kentucky||$151,863|
|Request Technology Procurement Specialist||Georgia||$126,480|
|Nigel Frank International Procurement Specialist||Illinois||$112,771|
|Request Technology – Jacqueline White Procurement Specialist||Illinois||$106,781|
|Material and Contract Services, Inc. Procurement Specialist||New York||$105,558|
|Access Staffing LLC Procurement Specialist||New York||$96,987|
|Department of Homeland Security Procurement Specialist||Virginia||$90,264|
|Transportation Security Administration Procurement Specialist||Virginia||$86,429|
|Bramwith Consulting Procurement Specialist||New Jersey||$83,373|
|Miami Dade County Procurement Specialist||Florida||$83,334|
|UCONN Health Center Procurement Specialist||Connecticut||$81,037|
|NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement Procurement Specialist||Florida||$79,381|
|Arlington County Procurement Specialist||Virginia||$78,187|
|City Of Minneapolis Procurement Specialist||Minnesota||$77,604|
|Michael Page Procurement Specialist||Illinois||$76,229|
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