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How to Become a Procurement Specialist

How to Become a Procurement Specialist
A procurement specialist is responsible for a number of duties in different sectors, primary among which include purchasing assignments and activities. CareerStint will tell you how to become a procurement specialist.
Buzzle Staff
Procurement Specialist
Pro
✔ Brilliant on-the-job training
Con
✘ Low initial pay

Planning is one of the key points that lays a strong foundation for the efficient functioning of an industry. Along with planning, you need to have the ability to ascertain results and make suitable predictions. Both these essentials form the basis of supply chain management. Beyond planning, a company has to obtain material and staff in order to supplement the production phase. These tasks (and many others) are managed by a procurement manager. In the paragraphs below, you will learn how to go about becoming a procurement specialist.
Job Profile
◆ A procurement specialist purchases raw material, goods, and services for the company.
◆ He maintains important contacts and professional relationships with the vendors.
◆ He is responsible for negotiating vital contracts for the company.
◆ As an agent, he negotiates the price as well as manages the product orders.
◆ He researches the places from where quality goods can be procured.
◆ He oversees the financial progress of the company; in case of glitches, he is expected to reduce or increase product and service prices accordingly.
◆ He manages product assembly and storage.
◆ He is expected to attend supplier shows to stay abreast of the latest products available.
Required Skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good command over language
  • Business acumen
  • Good mathematical and statistical expertise
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Negotiating tactics (shrewdness and diplomacy)
  • Good organizational skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Multitasking ability
Education

Qualifications
  • A procurement specialist works in various industries; therefore, the educational qualifications for this designation vary as per the requirement, while at high school, subjects like math, physics, economics, and computers would help lay a strong base.
  • You are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a bachelor's degree. You may graduate in a variety of disciplines such as engineering, business administration, economics, computer studies, supply chain management, purchase management, etc.
  • Irrespective of whichever sector you work in, any of the above degrees will help you understand the basics of the job.
Certification
  • After graduation, you can join work immediately, where you'll be given the required training.
  • However, if you intend to join in the core field as soon as possible, you will need to undertake advanced studies.
  • Many technical schools offer certifications in various disciplines.
  • You can even go on to pursue a master's degree in business management or your area of specialization.
  • You can obtain certifications in accounting software, purchase administration, and related subjects.
  • After some work experience, you may undertake the Certified Procurement Professional (CPP) examination from the Procurement Association of America (PAA).
  • The SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) offers several certifications that could enhance your resume and help you move on to better jobs.
  • You may also obtain the Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) from the UPPCC (Universal Public Procurement Certification Council).
  • You will need to update your certification after every five years.
Training
  • If you join work immediately after your bachelor's, you will undergo extensive on-the-job training.
  • Even post the training session, procurement may not be a part of your job profile.
  • With sufficient experience of purchasing and negotiating, you will be promoted to being a procurement specialist.
  • If you have the required credentials (certification or master's degree), you may join in the necessary sector. You will receive training anyway.
  • In fact, at an entry-level, your designation would be that of a procurement clerk.
  • With further specialization and experience in logistics, global supply chain, etc., you will be eligible to become a qualified procurement specialist.
  • After several years of experience, you can start your independent firm.
Salary
  • The salary for this field may vary widely as per the industry.
  • At an entry-level, you will be paid between USD 25,000 to USD 35,000.
  • Certified professionals have a comparatively larger pay scale.
  • Experienced professionals earn between USD 40,000 to USD 50,000.
  • A specialist working in the government sector may earn more than the one working for a private firm.
  • Freelancers and independent contractors earn on a per-project basis; the pay varies heavily depending on the client as well as the person's experience.
Job Outlook
  • The BLS has predicted a surprisingly slow job growth for this field; 6% between 2012 to 2022.
  • With the advent of the Internet, the demand for procurement clerks is significantly lower, and the ones who still work under this designation (in agro-based industries and animal husbandry) receive lesser salaries.
  • Research depicts that e-procurement has more of a demand, and candidates skilled in computer software are wanted by different industries.
  • However, at the entry-level, this involves the candidate to be fluent in the customization of software tools, while at a higher level, he is expected to be familiar with the working of an e-procurement package.
If you are an expert on math, computers, and purchase management, the job of a procurement specialist is the one that is most suitable for you. Despite the stressful hours, you will find immense job satisfaction in doing the work you love the most.