What is a Procurement Engineer?
Procurement engineers oversee the purchase of technical equipment for industrial operations. They collaborate with designers to determine the equipment needed to complete manufacturing or construction projects according to specifications, research vendors for that equipment, then order it. Procurement engineers negotiate purchase agreements with vendors and award contracts to vendors for equipment. They also monitor any adjustments to equipment needs to maintain the optimum supply of equipment to complete projects on time and within budget.
A procurement engineer must possess high-level organization and record-keeping skills to maintain a consistent flow of equipment to the company’s factories or worksites and ensure vendors are fulfilling the terms of their contracts. Influencing and negotiation skills are also crucial for procurement engineers, as it’s up to them to negotiate the purchasing agreements for engineering equipment and hire vendors for projects.
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Average Salary and Compensation
Procurement engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Procurement Engineer is:
How to Hire a Procurement Engineer
When hiring a procurement engineer, first consider the following:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- You intend to hire on a temporary, contract, or contract-to-hire basis and direct the work activity
- You are hiring a direct employee but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for a procurement engineer opening:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Job Descriptions
The Procurement Engineer ensures proper alignment of the inbound supply chain for products and raw materials across our business units. In addition, this role drives continuous improvement of our cost position and takes an active part in product improvement and development in support of business strategies. Reports to Director of Supply Chain Direct Materials.
- Develop, lead, and implement business cost reduction strategies through Sourcing to improve our cost position without sacrificing quality
- Evaluate, coordinate, and support sourcing opportunities in the US and low-cost regions
- Support product development and improvement teams by sourcing new technologies from qualified suppliers while leading the qualification process
- Challenge existing suppliers to recommend more cost-effective and/or more reliable products that will improve our competitive position. Assist in the evaluation and coordination of these recommendations
- Lead vendor initial qualification through the First Article Process, ensuring vendor products meet legislative, customer, and ABC Company Engineering requirements
- Once qualified, drive supplier actions to verify part and process quality at the supplier’s location to reduce the need for incoming inspection
- Work with Sourcing, Engineering, and Quality to develop procedures and processes to qualify potential suppliers
- Assist ABC Company Continuous Improvement Manager on Corporate Lean Strategies and Daily Management
Knowledge, skills, and abilities
- Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related field; Mechanical Engineering preferred
- Minimum 5 years experience in supplier quality or supplier development
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Continuous improvement experience including Lean or Six Sigma
- Ability to work within a team environment
- Ability to execute tasks independently
- Proficient in reading and interpreting blueprints, drawings, specifications, and regulations
- PC skills including MS Office, Auto CAD, and Solidworks
- Willingness to travel 25-50%, both domestically and internationally
We are seeking a Procurement Engineer to manage the materials purchasing process, and to source and deliver key materials for both R&D and production
- Act as a point of contact between the company and suppliers
- Identify potential suppliers based on project requirements
- Negotiate contracts, terms, and deadlines with vendors and suppliers
- Manage to ensure goods delivery in a timely manner
- Process purchase orders to acquire goods
- Ship goods abroad and complete customs clearance
- Work closely with the legal department to ensure contract terms are favorable to the company
- Attend meetings with the engineering team, vendors, and suppliers
- B.S. and extensive experience working in the procurement department in an operations and manufacturing field
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to succinctly summarize information and provide the detail necessary to take tasks through to completion
- Strong interpersonal skills, must be willing to regularly engage in-person and over the phone with internal stakeholders and suppliers
- Excellent multitasking skills with the ability to work across multiple software platforms
- Experience working in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment
Example 3 (Senior)
Summary of responsibilities
The Senior Procurement Engineer oversees the purchasing of technical goods and services for ABC Company. The Procurement Engineer has very detailed knowledge of the equipment, materials, and supplies used in ABC Company processes, systems, and components. They will be responsible for evaluating suppliers and negotiating purchase agreements with them, as well as maintaining the inventory of supplies
The ideal candidate for this role will possess a bachelor’s degree in engineering and 8 or more years of experience as a procurement engineer. Strong knowledge of structural engineering is a plus.
- Develop and maintain knowledge of the facility’s design and licensing basis in the assigned area of responsibility. Acquire and maintain the required training and qualifications necessary to perform assigned job responsibilities
- Conduct equipment performance monitoring and analysis to support production capacity goals. (System Health)
- Develop resolution of technical problems in accordance with established procedures and available vendor documents (including but not limited to: Nonconformance Evaluations, Operability Determinations, and Quality Level determinations)
- Perform analysis, calculations, and develop designs in support of the assigned facility and engineering programs and projects
- Conduct field walk-downs in and around the facility as needed for job duties and for general Engineering observations and adeptness
- Develop Plant Modification packages from described desired solution or from described issue
- Perform technical and quality reviews of a wide array of engineering and technical products. Advanced experience levels also perform reviews of non-typical documents and situations. Including 10 CFR 70.72(c) reviews (and maintaining such qualifications)
- Respond to departmental engineering inquiries, including interpreting engineering specifications and generating strategies for project/system
- Respond to departmental engineering inquiries, including interpreting engineering specifications and generating strategies for project/system
- Develop procedures and procedure revisions in support of program implementation
- Participate in industry forums and trade association meetings to stay abreast of technological and other developments in assigned technical areas
- Provide guidance and mentoring to less experienced Engineering personnel in the performance of duties. Including recommendations as to what engineering methods should be used
- Provide leadership and coordination of engineering projects, and assist in the establishment of knowledge, experience, and programs required for the effective implementation of such projects
- Collaborate with department management to resolve issues relating to high-visibility engineering activities
- Communicates and works effectively with other organizations to resolve technical issues and implement engineering outputs
- Maintain regulatorily and schedule compliance for assigned tasks
- Respond to departmental engineering inquiries, including interpreting engineering specifications and generating strategies for project/system implementation
- Support the conduct of audits, inspections, surveillances, and assessments of engineering activities by Quality Assurance and external regulating bodies
- Evaluate engineering project documentation and implementation for consistency and reusability
- Apply industrial safety and radiological safety practices in the performance of all field activities and engineering functions
- Provide presentations and information to senior management on a regular basis to communicate the status and performance
- Resolve and/or escalate issues to appropriate levels of management in a timely fashion
- Must be able to apply sound engineering judgment and professional rigor in the performance of all analyses and assigned tasks
- The ability to understand basic engineering principles and problem-solving techniques is required
- Ability to take direction and function as a team member to solve a variety of engineering problems in the applicable discipline
- Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or other related science or technical field
- Eight years of related experience, preferably in an industrial or nuclear facility is required
- A Professional Engineer (PE) license obtained by accredited examination is a plus
Sample Interview Questions
- What motivates you at work?
- What skills make you a good procurement engineer?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What is your most significant professional achievement?
- What are your professional strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you enjoy most and least about working in purchasing?
- Why are you interested in working for our organization?
- What types of goods or materials do you have experience purchasing?
- What vendor management software are you familiar with?
- Which procurement management tools have you used?
- How do you manage your relationships with vendors and suppliers?
- Can you describe a time when you failed? What did you learn from it?
- How do you determine what price is fair when buying a product from a vendor or supplier?