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Most large companies have a range of procurement officer jobs that can be organized into a central procurement department, or distributed across the organization in a decentralized business model. The primary role of a purchasing officer is to assist with the selection of suppliers, and arrangement of purchasing contracts. The total dollar value and processes used depends on the size of the company and level of purchasing activity. Procurement officers play an important role in ensuring companies get good value for their money while avoiding legal issues.
In order to qualify for procurement officer jobs, candidates have typically completed a post-secondary education in business or a related field. In addition, many positions require candidates to have completed the Certified Procurement Professional® (CPP®) program. The CPP® program is a professional designation for procurement officers, providing employers with assurances about the candidates education and work experience. There are four items to consider when evaluating procurement officer jobs: level of responsibility, career advancement opportunities, size of the organization, and the variation of procurement activities required.
Procurement officer jobs in small organizations typically provide a greater degree of latitude and broader responsibility than in a larger firm. In this role, you may be responsible for all purchases up to a very high dollar value, or have complete control over a specific type of commodity. The level of responsibility and experience gained makes working for a small to medium enterprise the best procurement officer role for people who want to gain valuable experience. In a large firm, there is generally more staff and resources available, and the level of responsibility and amount of freedom is significantly less.
Advancement opportunities are more common in large organizations than small to medium firms. The organizational structure creates the possibility for promotion, along with a commiserate increase in salary. Many procurement officer jobs require a significant amount of working experience before you can apply for supervisory or managerial positions. Talk with your human resources department about the typical career path in procurement and see what is available to you.
The best procurement officer jobs incorporate request for proposals, bid management, coordination of quotations, auctions, issuing of purchase orders, and contract management. Although a small firm is a good place to begin, all procurement professionals need to work in a large organization to be able to utilize all their skills. Opportunities to negotiate large, multi-year contracts, work with a range of suppliers, and complete legal tendering processes are all part of a procurement officer's job.