What Does a Procurement Engineer Do?
A procurement engineer is responsible for acquiring materials and services needed for projects. These professionals work closely with the engineering and supply chain departments to analyze technical requirements, identify suitable suppliers, and negotiate contracts. This role involves determining the cost, quality, and availability of components.
The role extends beyond sourcing to evaluating supplier performance and managing relationships. Their work allows for a reliable and timely supply of materials, aiding in project execution. The procurement engineer contributes to meeting project timelines and budget constraints by controlling costs and supplier quality.
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Procurement Engineer Compensation
Compensation is influenced by experience, industry, and project complexity. Bonuses and performance incentives are common when achieving cost savings or organizational efficiencies. Visit our sister site, zengig.com, to explore salaries by market.
The average U.S. salary for a Procurement Engineer is:
Procurement Engineer Roles and Responsibilities
- Vendor Evaluation: Conduct assessments to identify and qualify vendors based on quality, cost, and reliability.
- Request for Proposal (RFP) Creation: Draft and distribute RFPs to potential vendors, outlining the specifications and requirements for products or services needed.
- Cost Analysis: Perform detailed cost analyses to identify optimal procurement options aligned with budget constraints and quality standards.
- Negotiation: Lead negotiations with suppliers to secure advantageous contract terms and conditions.
- Compliance Monitoring: Keep procurement activities compliant with internal policies and external regulations.
- Quality Assurance: Collaborate with the quality control team to ensure the purchased materials meet all necessary quality metrics.
- Order Management: Oversee the entire ordering process, from initial requisition to final delivery, ensuring timeliness and accuracy.
- Supplier Relationship Management: Maintain and nurture relationships with suppliers for long-term partnership and potential cost savings.
- Technical Liaison: Serve as the point of contact between engineering departments and suppliers to clarify technical specifications or resolve issues.
- Contract Management: Administer supplier contracts and agreements, ensuring they meet both short-term needs and long-term strategic goals.
Procurement Engineer Job Requirements
A procurement engineer typically needs a bachelor’s degree in engineering, business, or a related field. Hands-on experience in procurement or a related area like supply chain management is often necessary. Familiarity with manufacturing materials and components and knowledge of industry regulations is crucial for success in this role.
- A minimum of 3-5 years in procurement or a closely related field
- Prior experience with vendor management
- Demonstrated ability in contract negotiation
- Previous involvement in cost-reduction initiatives
- Proficiency in procurement software (e.g., SAP, Oracle)
- Strong data analysis skills
- Expertise in MS Office, especially Excel, for financial modeling
- Understanding of technical blueprints and schematics
- Knowledge of quality control standards
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong negotiation capabilities
- Great attention to detail
- Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
- Teamwork and collaboration skills
Education and Certifications
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, some companies may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in engineering management or business administration. There are four primary certifications to look for:
- Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) – The American Purchasing Society provides the CPP. To be eligible, candidates must have at least two years of experience in purchasing. The society also obtains feedback from a candidate’s coworkers and suppliers regarding their professional conduct. Once accepted, they have to complete a three-week online course and pass an exam.
- Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) – The CPSM is administered by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) and is designed to prove a candidate’s skills in all procurement and supply-chain-related functions. If they have 3+ years of full-time supply management experience in a non-clerical or support role with a bachelor’s degree, or five years without a degree, they are eligible for certification. Topics covered include sourcing, negotiation, cost and price management, and supply chain strategy. Certification is valid for 3 years.
- Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (APP) – The Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (APP) is another respected certification in the procurement field, although it is generally considered more entry-level than the CPSM. The APP certification is for individuals who are relatively new to the purchasing profession and want to demonstrate their commitment to professional growth. The focus is primarily on the operational aspects of procurement, such as purchasing, receiving, and inventory control. Earning this certification usually involves passing an exam that tests knowledge and understanding of essential procurement practices.
Sample Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great procurement engineer is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
Junior Procurement Specialist
This position involves assisting the Procurement Lead on detailed duties in the requisitioning and purchasing materials, supplies, and equipment. Work is performed under the general supervision of a Procurement Lead and requires preparation and review of requests for quotations, the receipt of bids or quotes, analyzing bids, and preparing bid summaries for various clients. The Procurement Specialist will work directly with the Procurement Lead to oversee purchasing for the client, including obtaining bids, purchasing equipment, verifying delivery, and producing a job book with all purchasing details at the end of the project.
Tasks Include, But Are Not Limited To
- Receive, examine, and process requisitions; prepares bid specifications and other necessary documents related to the purchase of supplies, materials, and equipment; locate source of supply, and prepare purchase requisitions or purchase orders on behalf of the client.
- Compares costs and evaluates the quality and suitability of supplies, materials, and equipment.
- Keeps material spreadsheet up to date with current pricing.
- Maintains tracking reports on all project materials and equipment purchased. Expedite and liaise with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of goods.
- Expedites vendor drawings and documentation. Keeps files (Teams, Sharepoint, Sharefile and company drive) up to date with most current documentation.
- Creates Bluebeam Sessions
- Works closely with other disciplines to facilitate completion of vendor documentation.
- Expedites vendors for final documentation and assists with job books for finished projects.
- Performs related work as required.
Required Education & Qualifications
- Graduation from an accredited college or university or a purchasing certification is preferred
- Minimum of 1 year experience/knowledge of purchasing methods and procedures.
- Knowledge of a variety of materials and equipment, the best sources, and appropriate prices for the procurement of such goods.
- Minimum of 1 year experience/knowledge of tracking supplies and materials.
- Knowledge of basic computer operation including Sharepoint, Sharefile, Bluebeam and Microsoft based operating software/programs.
- Knowledge of the methods of the keeping of procurement records.
- Ability to supervise the work of others in the performance of routine purchasing duties.
- Ability to establish and maintain new working relationships with clients and vendors.
If you are a team player and meet the above qualifications, we would love to hear from you.
Mid-level Procurement Engineer
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
- Identify potential suppliers based on project requirements
- Act as a point of contact between the company and suppliers
- 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
Procurement Engineer (Remote)
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
Senior Procurement Engineer
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
Hiring a Procurement Engineer
When hiring a procurement engineer, first consider your internal capabilities and resources.
- 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. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations.
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm). When working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources, the heavy lifting is done for you. 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
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement 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
Post your opening for free for up to thirty days on zengig’s job board.
3. Leverage 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 Interview Questions
- To ensure the quality of your organization’s products or services, how do you evaluate your suppliers?
- Have you ever had to resolve a conflict with a vendor or supplier, and how did you resolve it?
- What was the impact of a project you worked on that involved a significant procurement process?
- What are the best practices in procurement and supply chain management that you follow and how do you apply this knowledge to your work?
- How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively when managing multiple projects at once?
- How did you come to a decision regarding a procurement contract when you were faced with a difficult decision?
- 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?
- Which strategies do you use to ensure that the organization gets the best deal when negotiating contracts with vendors and suppliers?
- Is there anything you can tell me about your experience working with internal departments and external vendors alike?
- What methods do you use to measure the effectiveness of your purchasing process and how do you ensure that it meets your organization’s needs?
- How do you determine what price is fair when buying a product from a vendor or supplier?