What Are Procurement Engineer Jobs? (With Skills And Duties)
Updated 30 September 2022
Procurement involves purchasing and acquiring various services and products for business use from a third-party vendor or an external source. A procurement engineer is a professional who sources a product, selects a vendor, negotiates the price and pays for the product. Understanding the various elements of a procurement engineer can help you decide if you are interested in joining a company's supply chain management department. In this article, we discuss what procurement engineer jobs are, explain what these professionals do, review the steps to become one and explore the skills required to become a successful procurement engineer.
What Are Procurement Engineer Jobs?
Procurement engineer jobs are jobs primarily available in the manufacturing facility of a company. Using their knowledge of the industry, these professionals order equipment, such as machinery, part of equipment or hardware. These professionals oversee the procurement process, which involves purchasing technical goods and services for an industrial operation. Usually, hiring managers prefer hiring candidates with in-depth knowledge about the material, equipment and supplies used in a specific industry. Also, a procurement engineer ensures that a company maintains its production budget and schedule.
A part of their job involves interacting with vendors and employees outside and inside the company. These professionals evaluate new and existing suppliers and negotiate a purchase contract with them. The procurement process they follow ensures that the company purchases products at a competitive price.
What Does A Procurement Engineer Do?
A procurement engineer is a professional who works in collaboration with computer engineers and technical designers to understand what equipment the company requires for completing its operations. The procurement process primarily involves sourcing material and choosing between various suppliers. They might request samples of the product before making a procurement. Some other job duties of these professionals include:
Oversee and supervise all activities related to the purchasing of equipment and machinery
Manage stakeholder and supplier relationships to ensure reliable performance
Evaluate supplier options and choose the one that fits the requirement
Communicate equipment needs to the vendors or suppliers
Review, compare and analyse products or equipment to be purchased
Maintain and update supplier information, such as delivery times, qualifications and product ranges
Facilitate communication between managers and the company's stakeholders regarding technical procurement
Understand the equipment design that a technician or designer requires
How To Become A Procurement Engineer?
Use these steps to become a procurement engineer:
1. Complete your undergraduate degree
The first step to becoming a procurement engineer is completing an undergraduate degree. You might complete a Bachelor of Technology in procurement and supply chain management or related areas. Though procurement engineering is not widely available, many candidates choose to major in related business fields like business administration, mechanical engineering, civil engineering or electrical engineering. If you choose an undergraduate business administration course, consider studying courses like economics, statistics, inventory management and retail management. To pursue a course in engineering, complete your 10+2 in science and business administration courses and take up commerce or humanities in your 10+2.
2. Finish your post-graduate degree
Procurement engineers often supplement their undergraduate degrees with master's degrees. You can complete a Master of Technology in engineering or Master of Business Administration in operations or related areas. A master's degree allows you to deepen your knowledge of procurement processes and strategies. Most of the post-graduate courses are for two years. Some common post-graduate courses you can pursue are:
Accounting and finance for engineers
Technological development and innovations
Analytical methods of supply chain management
One alternative to a master's degree is completing a certification course in procurement engineering or related areas. These certifications improve your knowledge and help you perform your job duties. While some courses might be for entry-level professionals, some are ideal for mid-level professionals. You can choose between online or offline courses based on the price, commitment, course, schedule and instructor.
3. Gain relevant work experience
Work experience helps show hiring managers you are a capable and dedicated candidate for the job of a procurement engineer. Consider looking for entry-level jobs in the desired field to increase your knowledge and skills. You can even complete a relevant internship to gain experience. To make a positive impression, try to show your experience in both business and engineering. Before applying for a procurement engineer, you can work as a software developer, retail manager or inventory manager. These jobs can help improve your procurement skills, such as organisation, communication and negotiations.
4. Create a compelling resume
The next step in becoming a procurement engineer is creating a compelling resume that shows your education, skills and qualifications. Your resume is an official document that shows hiring managers you are qualified. You can use a resume template to create a positive impression and ensure you get hired for a desirable job.
5. Apply for procurement engineer jobs
After creating your resume, you can begin by searching for a procurement engineer job on your professional and personal network. You can connect with your peers, colleagues and professors to look for relevant job opportunities. Become a member of various job sites and apply to relevant positions. You can become a paid member to ensure you get access to premium job openings. When you find an ideal position, submit your resume and cover letter and required information to show hiring managers you are a qualified candidate.
6. Appear for the interview
If you receive an interview call for a relevant job position, ensure you prepare thoroughly for it. Your interview is a mix of professional, personal and behavioural questions that helps a hiring manager assess your capabilities, attitude and personality. The hiring manager might ask you questions about your graduate and post-graduate course and work experience. You can even prepare some commonly asked interview questions related to procurement engineering to leave a positive impression. Some common interview questions to consider are:
What are your strengths and weakness?
What motivates you to become a procurement engineer?
Which procurement tools have you used earlier?
How do you manage relationships with suppliers?
How do you define a fair buying price?
Skills Of A Procurement Engineer
These are some of the skills a hiring manager might look for in a procurement engineer:
A critical procurement engineer requires excellent negotiation skills to negotiate better contracts and terms with suppliers and vendors. Negotiating contracts makes it easier for these professionals to build strong professional relationships. Negotiating a suitable contract can increase the profit margin and ensure they choose a trustworthy vendor. Typically, the best negotiations have a mutually beneficial outcome.
Being able to make critical business decisions is essential as a procurement engineer. Based on their technical knowledge and understanding of the company's requirements, they make decisions that best fit the organisational needs. As you make frequent choices on behalf of the company or department, the ability to make logical decisions is essential for this role.
Part of your job involves building relationships with suppliers and vendors. For this, you require excellent communication skills. These professionals need excellent verbal communication skills to communicate the company's requirements. Excellent communication skills allow a procurement manager to work efficiently with the company and the vendor.
Building and maintaining relationships is an essential job for a procurement engineer. Creating professional relationships with transport agencies, suppliers and clients can help a procurement manager negotiate contracts and get better deals. Your interpersonal skills can help in winning more business for the company. You might require this skill set to make the role easier and help you interact with other departments.
These professionals require financial skills to make correct decisions on behalf of the company. A successful procurement engineer has in-depth knowledge of the company's cost and overall budget. The ability to make accurate budgets and decisions, keeping in mind a company's financial health is essential for this role.
Much of a company's procurement engineers' day-to-day activities involve the use of software and computers. Analysing the key performance indicators (KPIs) and checking inventory requires excellent computer skills. Often, procurement engineers require knowledge of specific applications based on what they are trying to procure from a vendor.
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