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Procurement Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

To fulfill their daily obligations, procurement specialists are required to complete several tasks. We have examined some job listings for this occupation and found those listed below to be among the most commonly mentioned job responsibilities associated with this position:

Oversee Purchase of Materials and Supplies The main responsibility of procurement specialists is to ensure that the supply chain needs of a company are met in a timely and cost-effective manner. Procurement specialists review costs, develop relationships with vendors and suppliers, and offer suggestions for where and how much material and supplies to buy.

Participate in Contract Negotiations Contract management is one of the most important aspects of being a procurement specialist. These professionals negotiate contract renewals, place bids to obtain the business of new vendors, discuss pricing, and monitor all aspects of the terms of a contract.

Manage Inventory Procurement specialists maintain an inventory of supplies and materials, deciding when to make purchases as needed. They choose how much material to keep on hand and track which supplies are consumed fastest. They also place and track orders with vendors and suppliers.


Procurement Specialist Skills

Strong math, analytical, organizational, and communication skills are essential for the success of procurement specialists. They should be detail-oriented team players, possessing negotiation skills and the ability to work independently as needed. An understanding of business operations and processes is important to their work. Additionally, procurement specialists need strong interpersonal skills, as they work with a diverse number of people, such as executives, suppliers, vendors, and supply chain managers. Along with these crucial skills, it is important that procurement specialists are able to:
  • Assess costs and negotiate vendor and supply prices
  • Analyze business supply needs and ensure businesses are getting the best possible material
  • Manage inventory and order supplies and materials as needed
  • Resolve pricing conflicts and place bids with different vendors as required

Procurement Specialist Education and Training

In many cases, employers seeking a procurement specialist prefer candidates who hold a bachelor's degree in business, supply chain management, or business analytics. Some companies even prefer a master's degree in these areas; a graduate degree could be needed to advance in this field. Voluntary certifications, such as Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) or Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), are helpful and in some cases might be required for promotional purposes.

Procurement Specialist Salary

As described by the BLS, procurement specialists make an annual median salary of $11,590. Those in the lowest 10th percentile are paid a median annual wage of $63,380, while those in the top 10 percent earn $177,560. Top earners tend to be those working in private companies or federal agencies. Procurement specialists in New Jersey are the highest paid in the U.S., with an annual mean wage of $148,850, followed by those employed in Missouri ($139,040), and Delaware ($136,190).

Procurement Specialist Resources

To give you more insight into the position procurement specialist, we have provided links below to additional resources, including books and professional associations.

American Purchasing Society - Since 1969, the American Purchasing Society has provided procurement specialists and others in the purchasing field access to seminars, training courses, books, and certification information. Purchasing & Supply Magazine - With sections devoted to procurement, inventory, negotiations, and purchasing, this online publication is a great resource for news, current practices, and management responsibilities. It contains interviews with leaders in the procurement field.

NLPA Blog - Hosted by the Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA), a global organization for procurement professionals, this blog contains detailed articles about leadership practices, negotiation, economic impacts, and other influences on the procurement field.

Procurement Leaders Procurement Blog - Offering articles from procurement specialists and related professionals, this blog gives insight into current trends, procurement functions, and more.

Procurement and Supply Chain Management, 9th Edition - Giving the most updated information on procurement regulations, contract management practices, and global sourcing, this book provides details on the most current and effective processes vital to the success of procurement specialists.

Strategic Procurement: Organizing Suppliers and Supply Chains for Competitive Advantage - Written specifically for upper management, this book explores effective strategies for saving costs, forming supplier relationships, getting the most out of supply chain, and other important practices.

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