People who enjoy working independently, are detail-oriented, and are comfortable with numbers may want to become a procurement officer. Although procurement officers are expected to have excellent presentation skills for meetings, the most important skill in this role is good communication skills. Attention to detail, discipline, and focus are all essential.
Post-secondary training and related work experience are required in this position. A procurement officer is responsible for managing the purchasing process for a business or organization, and he or she spends the majority of the day working with internal clients and vendors. Internal clients provide purchase requisitions detailing the goods or services they require. The officer contacts and negotiates with suppliers to obtain the best possible combination of price, quality, and service.
Related work experience includes accounting, bookkeeping, buyer, sales representative, or purchasing clerk. All of these jobs provide valuable experience working with computers and people. The typical career path to become a procurement officer is to obtain a position as a buyer, which involves working in the procurement department, processing orders as required.
Many US firms recommended that anyone who wants to enter this field obtain the Certified Procurement Professional® (CPP®) designation. Available through the National Purchasing Institute® (NPI®), this designation is awarded upon completion of a combination of education, experience, and written examinations. The program is available to candidates with and without post-secondary training, although candidates with a degree have fewer courses to complete.
When applying for a job as a procurement officer, one of the most important items to think about is your area of expertise. Procurement departments are typically divided one of two ways: by commodity or by client group. In order to qualify for a position as a commodity procurement officer, you need to have some background knowledge or training in this field. If the department is organized by client group, a firm understanding of the pressures and responsibilities of that department are instrumental in securing the position.
As part of the process, it is a good idea to build on your interpersonal and communication skills. Some people take formal classes in business communication, while others incorporate these skills into hobbies, such as participating in a drama club or public speaking group. A lifelong commitment to learning is important if you want to become a procurement officer, as this field is forecast to experience a great deal of technology-driven change.