There are a range of procurement jobs available in almost every industry, from education to manufacturing. Procurement or purchasing jobs are primarily focused on the steps required to obtain goods or services, and the process used to secure the best combination of price, quality, and service. When looking for the best procurement jobs compare training programs, advancement opportunities, compensation packages, and breadth of responsibilities. These four items cover the primary reasons for job satisfaction or lack thereof.
Procurement jobs require a minimum three-year business diploma from an accredited college. In order to be eligible for advancement opportunities, candidates should explore completing a university degree or a post-graduate certificate in procurement or purchasing. In addition to these traditional educational options, the Certified Procurement Professional (CPP®) designation is available from the National Association of Procurement Professionals®. This designation requires a combination of education and experience, in addition to the successful completion of a series of examinations.
Every procurement professional is required to complete continuing education courses each year to maintain his or her designation. Increasingly, employers require this designation for the best procurement jobs. Many employers have an internal staff development or training department, which is responsible for providing on-site training and coordinating access to specialized, off-site training. The best procurement jobs cover at least a portion of the cost for these courses, in addition to the annual membership fee. Compare the details of your employment letter of offer or speak with the human resources department to determine if this is a standard benefit available to all employees.
Look at the number of people in procurement roles to get an idea of the advancement opportunities available to you in each firm. If the purchasing activity is centralized this results in fewer procurement positions, but a greater degree of specialization. In a decentralized environment, there are more positions, but typically at a lower skill level, such as buyer or procurement officer.
Compensation is an important consideration when looking for the best procurement jobs. Look at the total compensation package, including paid training, vacation days, health care benefits, and pension. Many people focus only on the salary dollar value and fail to take the other expenses into consideration.
The best procurement jobs build on a candidate’s skills and education, providing opportunities to learn new skills. This keeps the work interesting, and provides the training necessary to advance to a more senior position. Check the breadth and depth of responsibility in each position. The broader the responsibility, the greater the chance to gain the skills required for promotion.