Acquisition Manager Job Description

Acquisition managers oversee a company’s purchasing activities. Their role involves finding and researching prospective purchase deals, negotiating the purchase terms and contract, implementing, and finalizing the purchase. They are employed in diverse industries, typically work 40 or more hours a week in an office environment, and may be required to travel occasionally. Employers seek individuals with strong leadership, analytical, negotiation, computer, and finance skills. Candidates with experience in project management and areas such as consulting, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate development are preferred.


Acquisition Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Acquisition managers work in a wide range of industries and may be responsible for varying types of purchases accordingly. Generally, they have common core tasks that they are responsible for regardless of the employing industry. A list of these duties has been compiled and provided below.


Acquisition managers review potential or proposed acquisitions to ensure that they are a good fit for the company strategically and financially.


They negotiate contract terms and purchase price in order to get the best possible deal for their company while also making sure it is beneficial to the seller.

Develop Strategy

To help ensure continued growth and profitability, acquisition managers create long term purchasing strategies. These strategies also aid in the decision-making process as it relates to acquisitions.

Produce and Maintain Reports

Company executives frequently review analysis, deal prep, and inventory management reports prior to and after acquisitions. Acquisition managers are responsible for creating and maintaining these reports.

Manage Records

Acquisition managers keep record files that include: items purchased, item costs, inventories, and product performance.


Acquisition Manager Skills and Qualifications

Successful acquisition managers are quick learners and adaptable to working both independently and within a team environment. Other skills required for this position include:

  • Communication – they interact with company executives and varying levels of staff as well as connect and network with professionals outside of the organization
  • Organization – acquisition managers work on several projects at once and handle multiple contracts and vendors simultaneously
  • Detail oriented – contracts must be thoroughly reviewed prior to signature to ensure all the terms agreed to are included in the documents and there is nothing that may be adverse to the company
  • Analytical – acquisition managers analyze data from numerous sources in determining the acquisition strategy and in researching and finding purchase deals
  • Math Skills – they use statistics and consumer math such as applying discounts and interest in the purchasing process


Acquisition Manager Education and Training

Entrance into this field requires a BA degree in finance, accounting, or other business-related major. Preference is extended to MBA holders and candidates with at least three to five years of related experience.


Acquisition Manager Salary and Outlook

The salary range for acquisition managers is $15,000-$111,000, with managers making an average salary of $65,000.

Outsourcing and automation of some of the simpler purchasing functions are two reasons why this position is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to decline by three percent through 2026. This will result in 17,200 fewer employees in the field.


Helpful Resources

If a career as an acquisition manager interests you, we have compiled a list of resources that will help get you started.

American Purchasing Society (APS) – this organization, founded in 1969, includes members from all 50 states and 28 countries outside of the United States. The membership base is made up of purchasing managers, executives, buyers, and those with a vested interest in the acquisitions profession. The mission of APS is “to help people learn about purchasing and improve the business purchasing function”. The organization seeks to fulfill its mission through education and an established certification program. Their Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) program was the first of its kind for purchasing managers and professional buyers. The American Purchasing Society’s CPP program is different from similar certification programs in that it not only measures candidates’ competence, but also evaluates their business reputation through reference checks.

National Procurement Institute (NPI) – the National Procurement Insitute is the public-sector affiliate of the Institute of Supply Management. NPI was established in 1968 in an effort to “establish cooperative relationships among its members and to develop efficient purchasing methods and practices in the areas of governmental, educational, and institutional procurement. NPI strives to be the premier national association for public procurement professionals. They work to accomplish this vision through education, certification, professional development, and networking opportunities.

Finance for Purchasing Managers: Understanding the Financial Impact of Buying Decisions – author Richard France offers a practical guide for those at the senior level in purchasing in both the public and private sector. He uses the language and viewpoint of buyers to provide readers with expertise on today’s buyers’ environment. France focuses on four main areas: supplier financial analysis, pricing, costing, and cost modelling, managing resources, and capital and revenue purchasing decisions and techniques.

Mergers & Acquisitions: The Human Side: A Manager’s Guide to Success – George Zelina helps managers to “craft the mindset they need for success”. Zelina offers advice that is useful to managers across all industries. This advice centers on successfully leading a team through a merger and acquisition (M&A). He shows readers how an M&A can be turned into an opportunity in which the manager can demonstrate his leadership strengths and value. The author uses examples and explanations to give managers the tools needed to thrive in this new business environment.


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