Career Development

What Does a Procurement Assistant Do?

Find out what a procurement assistant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a procurement assistant.

Procurement assistants are responsible for sourcing and purchasing the materials, equipment, and services that their organization needs to function effectively. They commonly work with vendors, contractors, suppliers, and other third-party service providers to ensure that their company gets what it needs in a timely fashion.

Procurement assistants may also be tasked with tracking inventory levels, managing vendor relationships, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Procurement Assistant Job Duties

Procurement assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Performing research to identify potential suppliers and evaluating their qualifications
  • Communicating with customers about order status, answering questions about products and services, and resolving issues
  • Preparing purchase orders and contracts for approval by supervisors or attorneys
  • Negotiating price changes with suppliers when costs fluctuate significantly
  • Keeping records of orders placed and shipments received, updating inventory levels based on these records
  • Reviewing contracts to ensure that all terms have been met before signing them
  • Ensuring compliance with laws and regulations regarding purchasing procedures and best practices
  • Coordinating with other departments within a company for the purchase of specialized materials or equipment
  • Working directly with suppliers to obtain bids on new or ongoing projects

Procurement Assistant Salary & Outlook

Procurement assistants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $51,500 ($24.76/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of procurement assistants is expected to decline over the next decade.

Organizations are increasingly using electronic systems to automate the procurement process, which may limit the need for procurement assistants. Organizations also may outsource some of their procurement activities to other companies, reducing the demand for these workers.

Related: Procurement Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Procurement Assistant Job Requirements

The following are some of the requirements that are often needed to become a procurement assistant:

Education: Most employers require procurement assistants to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and some post-secondary education. Some employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in business, procurement or a related field.

Training & Experience: Most procurement assistants receive on-the-job training from their new employers. This training may last for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the company and the role. The training may include shadowing current procurement assistants, performing duties under supervision and eventually working independently.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not usually required for a procurement assistant role, they can help you impress potential employers. Procurement assistants who have certifications will have a competitive edge over other candidates.

Procurement Assistant Skills

Procurement assistants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Organization: Organization is a crucial skill for procurement assistants, as they often handle multiple tasks at once. Procurement assistants often have to keep track of multiple projects, budgets and deadlines, so having strong organizational skills can help them manage their workload.

Communication: Communication is an essential skill for procurement assistants, as they often communicate with suppliers, managers and other procurement assistants. Effective communication can help you convey information clearly and answer questions accurately. You can also use communication skills to collaborate with other procurement assistants on projects.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill for procurement assistants, as they often handle sensitive information and documents. Procurement assistants should be able to handle paperwork and data accurately and thoroughly. This includes being able to read and interpret data and information correctly and accurately recording and filing information correctly.

Time management: Time management is a crucial skill for procurement assistants because they often have multiple tasks to complete within a certain time frame. Procurement assistants may also work on multiple projects at the same time, so it’s important for them to prioritize their tasks and manage their time accordingly.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. As a procurement assistant, you may be responsible for finding solutions to problems that arise during the procurement process. For example, if a supplier doesn’t deliver the goods on time, you may be responsible for finding a solution to the delay. This could include finding a new supplier or finding a way to work around the delay.

Procurement Assistant Work Environment

Procurement assistants work in a variety of settings, including manufacturing plants, warehouses, offices, and stores. They may work full time or part time, and their hours may vary depending on the needs of their employer. Many procurement assistants work regular business hours, but some may work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Some procurement assistants travel to attend trade shows, meet with suppliers, or inspect products. Procurement assistants typically work in a fast-paced environment and may be under pressure to meet deadlines.

Procurement Assistant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how procurement assistants work. Procurement assistants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Supply Chain Management

The growth of supply chain management is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses operate. This trend is causing companies to focus more on efficiency and cost-saving measures, which has led to an increased demand for procurement assistants.

Procurement assistants are essential to the success of supply chain management initiatives, as they are responsible for sourcing and purchasing materials and supplies for their company. By understanding how to manage the supply chain process, they can help businesses save money and time while ensuring that they have the necessary resources to run efficiently.

More Focus on Sustainability

As businesses become more environmentally conscious, they are placing greater emphasis on sustainability. This means that procurement professionals will need to be familiar with sustainable sourcing practices in order to meet the needs of their customers.

Procurement assistants can utilize this trend by becoming experts in sustainable sourcing methods. This includes researching and developing relationships with suppliers who produce products using environmentally friendly methods. In addition, procurement assistants can educate their colleagues about the benefits of sustainable sourcing and encourage them to adopt these practices.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the world of procurement. As technology advances, so too does the use of electronic bidding systems, which allows buyers to submit bids without having to physically visit a vendor’s location.

This trend is likely to continue in the future, as electronic bidding systems become even more popular. Procurement assistants will need to learn how to use these systems in order to stay competitive. They will also need to be able to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology, which can often be difficult to understand.

How to Become a Procurement Assistant

A career as a procurement assistant can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the business world. As a procurement assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about different industries and companies, develop relationships with suppliers, and gain experience working with contracts and budgets.

To become a procurement assistant, you’ll need to have strong organizational skills, be able to work independently, and be comfortable using technology. You should also be able to communicate effectively both written and verbally.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a procurement assistant. One way is to specialize in a certain area, such as construction, information technology, or medical supplies. Another way to advance is to get certified by the American Purchasing Society. Certification shows that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform your job at a high level.

As you gain experience, you may be promoted to a procurement officer or manager position. In these roles, you will have more responsibility for the procurement process and will be responsible for a larger team of procurement assistants. You may also be responsible for developing and implementing procurement strategies for your organization.

Procurement Assistant Job Description Example

The Procurement Assistant will provide support to the Procurement team in the day-to-day operations of the department. He/she will be responsible for maintaining accurate records, preparing reports, and assisting with the development and implementation of procurement policies and procedures. The Procurement Assistant will also be responsible for conducting market research, preparing bid documents, and evaluating bids. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and organizational skills, as well as experience in procurement or a related field.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for all vendor inquiries, managing a high volume of inbound calls and emails
  • Respond to vendor requests for information and follow up on outstanding items in a timely manner
  • Maintain accurate records of all vendor communications in our customer relationship management (CRM) system
  • Update and maintain vendor contact information and other key data points in our CRM and procurement systems
  • Generate weekly reports on vendor performance and communicate findings to the Procurement Manager
  • Assist with the development and implementation of new vendor onboarding processes and procedures
  • Monitor compliance with all existing contracts and agreements, working with vendors to resolve any issues
  • Support the Procurement Manager in the negotiation of new contracts and agreements
  • Manage the renewal process for all existing contracts and agreements
  • Process invoices and purchase orders in a timely and accurate manner
  • Reconcile discrepancies between invoices and purchase orders on a monthly basis
  • Maintain organized and up-to-date files for all current and past vendors

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, supply chain management, or related field
  • 1-2 years professional experience in procurement, supply chain management, or similar role
  • Experience with e-procurement systems and software, such as SAP Ariba and Coupa
  • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Professional certification, such as Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) or Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO)
  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • 3-5 years professional experience in procurement, supply chain management, or similar role
  • Experience managing and developing direct reports


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