A procurement analyst tests a supplier's product to determine if it's the best choice for an organization in terms of quality, cost and functionality. In order to become a procurement analyst, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree is usually required for advancement.
Procurement analysts research and compare supplier products and services in order to determine which vendors and products are most suitable for an organization. Bachelor's degrees are preferred for this position, and upper-level advancement requires further education as well as leadership and team-building skills.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Master's degree may be required for advancement|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||2% for purchasing managers*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$108,120 for purchasing managers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Procurement Analyst Career Information
Procurement analysts can also be known as purchasing analysts, agents or managers. They are employed by companies and organizations to purchase goods or services from wholesale distributors, manufacturers or other product or service providers. Analysts rely heavily on evaluation, decision-making and communication skills in order to assess which product or service best suits their needs. While education requirements generally vary based on the organization, employers typically favor candidates with a bachelor's degree in business, accounting or finance. Advancement into upper level management generally requires a master's degree or certification such as a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) awarded by the Institute for Supply Management.
Job Description and Duties
The main function of a procurement analyst is to evaluate vendors based on price, quality, availability, reliability and technical support. They then contract the appropriate product or service to be delivered. Analysts work with other departments and determine the organization's needs by participating in the development of specifications; studying sales records, inventory levels, replenishment cycles and product lead time; and assessing supply-side market conditions. Analysts then gather information by meeting and interviewing suppliers, attending conferences and trade shows, taking on-site tours of factories and plants, and researching trade journals, publications and catalogs. Upon completion, analysts prepare reports on each vendor, product and service to submit for review. Once the preferred supplier has been determined, analysts issue bids and negotiate contract terms.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that, in May 2015, the mean annual wage for a purchasing manager was $108,120. The BLS predicts 2% employment growth for purchasing managers between 2014 and 2024, with growth varying depending on type of industry. Advancement usually requires a master's degree in supply management, engineering, business, economics or applied sciences although some may advance by becoming a CPSM or Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP).
While small firms may hire applicants without a formal education, most large firms prefer college graduates with backgrounds in engineering, business, accounting or finance. Technical experience with computers and proficiency in Microsoft Office, spreadsheets analysis and SAP business management software may be required by some firms. Some employers may look for applicants with an education in the field the employer specializes in; for instance, a manufacturer may seek procurement analysts with an engineering degree.
Regardless of prior education, analysts are initially trained on the job in order to become familiar with the different systems of operation within the organization. New hires may be rotated within departments and assigned to an experienced analyst or agent in order to learn product specifications, procurement, pricing, and departmental processes. Training may last up to 5 years.
Procurement analysts must be observant, thorough, great communicators, and have extensive knowledge of their company's products and needs. They generally need a degree in a relevant field, and on-the-job training is vital, as well. Job growth is projected to be very slow in the coming years, and median salaries in 2015 were in the low six figures.