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Career profile Procurement Specialist

Also known as Buyer, Procurement Assistant, Procurement Officer, Procurement Specialist, Procurement Technician, Purchasing Assistant, Purchasing Associate, Purchasing Clerk, Purchasing Specialist, Warehouse Clerk

Procurement Specialist

Also known as Buyer, Procurement Assistant, Procurement Officer

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$30,540 - $61,880 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Administrative
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Perform buying duties when necessary.
  • Prepare purchase orders and send copies to suppliers and to departments originating requests.
  • Compare suppliers' bills with bids and purchase orders to verify accuracy.
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What does a Procurement Specialist do?

Procurement Specialists compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.

What kind of tasks does a Procurement Specialist perform regularly?

Procurement Specialists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Perform buying duties when necessary.
  • Prepare purchase orders and send copies to suppliers and to departments originating requests.
  • Compare suppliers' bills with bids and purchase orders to verify accuracy.
  • Prepare, maintain, and review purchasing files, reports and price lists.
  • Compare prices, specifications, and delivery dates to determine the best bid among potential suppliers.
  • Check shipments when they arrive to ensure that orders have been filled correctly and that goods meet specifications.
  • Review requisition orders to verify accuracy, terminology, and specifications.
  • Maintain knowledge of all organizational and governmental rules affecting purchases, and provide information about these rules to organization staff members and to vendors.
  • Calculate costs of orders, and charge or forward invoices to appropriate accounts.
  • Determine if inventory quantities are sufficient for needs, ordering more materials when necessary.
  • Contact suppliers to schedule or expedite deliveries and to resolve shortages, missed or late deliveries, and other problems.
  • Track the status of requisitions, contracts, and orders.
  • Respond to customer and supplier inquiries about order status, changes, or cancellations.
  • Train and supervise subordinates and other staff.
  • Locate suppliers, using sources such as catalogs and the internet, and interview them to gather information about products to be ordered.

The above responsibilities are specific to Procurement Specialists. More generally, Procurement Specialists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Performing Administrative Activities
Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

What is a Procurement Specialist salary?

The median salary for a Procurement Specialist is $44,740, and the average salary is $45,400. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Procurement Specialist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Procurement Specialists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Procurement Specialists earn less than $30,540 per year, 25% earn less than $36,660, 75% earn less than $52,950, and 90% earn less than $61,880.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Procurement Specialists is expected to change by -5.1%, and there should be roughly 5,200 open positions for Procurement Specialists every year.

Median annual salary
$44,740
Typical salary range
$30,540 - $61,880
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-5.1%

What personality traits are common among Procurement Specialists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Procurement Specialist are usually higher in their Conventional and Enterprising interests.

Procurement Specialists typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Procurement Specialists typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Procurement Specialist tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Support.

Most importantly, Procurement Specialists moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Procurement Specialists moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Procurement Specialists moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Procurement Specialists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Procurement Specialists, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

What education and training do Procurement Specialists need?

Procurement Specialists often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Procurement Specialists usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Procurement Specialists

  • 1.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 17.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 26.1% completed some college coursework
  • 12.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 31.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 9.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Procurement Specialists

Procurement Specialists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administrative, customer and personal service, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Procurement Specialists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Procurement Specialists

Procurement Specialists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Procurement Specialists need abilities such as written comprehension, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Procurement Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Procurement Specialists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Procurement Specialists frequently use skills like reading comprehension, speaking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Procurement Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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