How to Become a Procurement Manager

How to Become a Procurement Manager: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a procurement manager, you first need to determine if this career path is well suited to your skills and interests.


If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a procurement manager:


• You have a high level of self-confidence

• You have an interest in developing, motivating and leading staff

• You enjoy being accountable and responsible for the outcome of projects

• You are able to effectively evaluate suppliers and choose those with the best combination of price and quality

• You have the patience and motivation needed to acquire the necessary education and experience


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a Procurement Manager. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Procurement Manager

The education required to become a procurement manager can vary based on the discretion of the employer, although you typically need a bachelor’s degree in Business, Supply Chain Management, or a closely related field.


Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in one of these areas, while others may accept years of experience in roles of progressive responsibility in place of formal education. 




Procurement Manager Job Description

Procurement managers, also known as purchasing managers, are responsible for planning and coordinating the activities of purchasing officers and related workers who are involved in the purchase of materials, products and services.



Procurement Manager Job Duties

• Prepare bid awards to be approved by the Board of Directors

• Maintain records of goods ordered and received

• Administer online purchasing systems

• Recruit, hire, train, supervise and support purchasing staff

• Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales

• Resolve grievances pertaining to vendor contracts

• Oversee the preparation of purchase orders and requisition requests

• Ensure purchase orders are compliant with company policies and procedures



Who Creates Jobs for Procurement Managers?

Procurement managers are typically employed on a full-time or contractual basis by organizations that expend large amounts of money for equipment, supplies and services. These types of organizations may include:


• Federal, provincial/state and municipal governments

• Construction companies

• Manufacturing companies

• Oil, gas, mining and natural resource companies

• School boards

• Health authorities

• Colleges and universities


Professional Certification Needed to Become a Procurement Manager

Some employers may require that you are professionally certified, or are currently enrolled in a professional certification course, in order to be hired as a procurement manager.


Professional certification must typically be from a nationally recognized professional institute. Examples of this certification in Canada include Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) or Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM). 



Experience Needed to Become a Procurement Manager

The experience needed to become a procurement manager depends on your level of education. Without formal education, you typically need at least 5 years of experience in roles of progressive responsibility within a procurement, inventory management or supply chain management environment.


The path towards becoming a procurement manager may begin by getting an entry-level job in procurement, inventory management or supply chain management and communicating your career ambitions to your manager. If you show initiative, accountability and competence in your role, you could gradually move into roles of progressive responsibility, including procurement manager.


If you have an undergraduate or graduate degree in management or a closely related field, the work experience needed to become a procurement manager may be greatly decreased, as your education may provide you with the knowledge base and competencies that you need to effectively perform the duties of a procurement manager.


Success Tip: It is really hard to step into senior procurement roles by continually changing jobs, it is much easier to do it by gaining the experience where you are, even if it is only limited experience, and then gradually moving onto roles of progressive responsibility. 



Skills Needed to Become a Procurement Manager

In order to become effective in a career as a procurement manager, you need to posses a certain set of skills. These skills will allow you to perform your job duties with competence, and employers will likely need to see evidence of them in your resume when applying for procurement manager jobs.


• Able to lead and motivate teams of purchasers and other employees

• Experience in developing staff

• The ability to work within budgetary constraints

• Excellent negotiation skills and the ability to persuade others

• Able to ensure employees are performing their job duties effectively

• Must be able to effectively evaluate suppliers and choose those with the best combination of price and quality

• Intermediate to expert-level competency in MS Office

• Able to effectively set priorities, while taking into account short and long-term needs of the business

• Able to make sound decisions based on established requirements, procedures and practices



Characteristics Needed to Become a Procurement Manager

In order to enjoy performing the duties of a procurement manager, you need to have certain personality traits. Taking enjoyment from your duties as a procurement manager is important, as it helps you maintain a positive attitude towards your work, which usually leads to having a long and successful career.


• Enjoy supervising others and directing their work

• Enjoy being responsible for the outcome of projects

• An interest in developing relationships with suppliers

• A high level of self-confidence

• An interest in the industry in which the employer operates



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Procurement Manager Career: Salary Level

The salary level of procurement managers can vary depending on their personal qualifications, the size and type of their employer, the specific responsibilities of their job, and many other factors.


Procurement Manager Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working as part of the Purchasing Agents and Officers occupational group earn an average of between $26.31 and $41.97 per hour.


Procurement Manager Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadian workers in the Purchasing Managers occupational group is $77,367 per year.


Procurement Manager Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for American workers in the Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents is $60,550. The lowest 10% of salaries in this occupational group are below $34,990, and the top 10% are above $110,050 per year.



Careers Similar to Procurement Manager

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Procurement Manager, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Cost Estimator

Inventory Control Specialist

Operations Manager


Retail Buyer



References: Procurement Manager Career Information

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a procurement manager.


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Purchasing Managers.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 9, 2020.

Business & Financial:Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents.” (September 4, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 9, 2020.

Explore Careers:Purchasing Manager.” (n.d.). National Careers Service website. Retrieved January 9, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Procurement Manager

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Procurement Manager can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Procurement Manager: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a procurement manager. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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