Acquisition managers coordinate financial transactions within businesses in order to satisfy the desires of both the business and its clients. These professionals usually hold a bachelor's degree and they usually have experience as purchasing agents.
A career in acquisition management involves delivering a product or service at the best possible cost to satisfy the requirements of an employer. Quality, quantity and efficient distribution are key considerations in the field. Duties can include increasing the purchasing power of an organization, evaluating properties for possible purchase, negotiating agreements with vendors, resolving logistical issues or simply ensuring daily operations progress as planned. A bachelor's degree and experience as a buyer are common requirements to become an acquisition manager.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree; federal government jobs can be pursued by individuals without a degree who have completed a minimum amount of coursework in the field|
|Requirements||Experience as a buyer or purchasing agent|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||2% (for purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents)*|
|Average Salary (May 2015)||$114,130 (for purchasing managers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Acquisition Management Education Requirements
To begin a career in acquisition management in the federal government, a bachelor's degree or minimum of 24 completed credit hours from an accredited institution of higher education in an area such as business, finance, contracts, marketing or management is necessary, per the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI). A graduate-level degree isn't required to work in the field, but a relevant option is a Master of Business Administration; although rare, it's possible to earn a master's degree in acquisition management through distance learning. Relevant classroom and web-based training courses are offered by the FAI to full-time federal employees at no charge, and certification is also available through the organization.
Exemplary oral and written communication skills are also necessary since those in acquisition management must confer frequently with employees as well as take part in contract negotiations with vendors. Positive customer service and problem-solving skills, as well as some legal knowledge - particularly in federal contracting - are also important qualifications for this position.
Salary and Job Outlook
Work in acquisition management is commonly available in federal government agencies. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, a reported $529 billion was spent by federal agencies on goods and services in the 2008 fiscal year (www.gao.gov). The Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) stated that that over 30,000 professionals were hired for acquisition-related jobs by the federal government in 2006 (www.fai.gov).
Acquisition managers, also called purchasing managers, made an average annual salary of $114,130 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projected that job growth for purchasing managers would be slower than average from 2014 to 2024, with only a 2% increase in job growth expected.
Acquisition managers need strong communication, mathematics and organizational skills in order to be successful. If this sounds like you, carefully review salary statistics, job duties and typical work environments before deciding if this is the right career choice.