How To Become A Procurement Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become procurement managers in Australia.


Do you have good analytical, negotiation, and presentation skills? If yes, a career as a Procurement Manager could be a fantastic choice for you.


Procurement Managers manage the procurement and purchase of products, materials, and services for businesses. They are responsible for evaluating suppliers, products, and services and negotiating contracts, ensuring the purchase of superior quality and affordable.


To become a Procurement Manager in Australia, you need a VET or university qualification in business management, warehousing, distribution, accounting, purchasing, or another related field.


You can start with a Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting/ Certificate IV in Business (Procurement) or consider a Diploma of Business (Procurement).


The following blog discusses the career of a Procurement Manager, how to become one, job duties, personal traits and attributes, education requirements, average salary, job outlook, and top national employers.



1. What Is A Procurement Manager?


Procurement Managers are the driver of business efficiency and ensure the smooth execution of day-to-day business operations.


They are the first point of contact between a company and its suppliers and are in charge of decisions concerning buying services, goods, and equipment.


Procurement Managers lead teams responsible for procuring goods and services. They introduce processes to reduce business waste and other innovative practices and manage offshore operations.


Besides external suppliers, these professionals also work with legal teams, engineers, company executives, and managers, focusing on capital projects.



2. Procurement Manager Job Description


  • Negotiate deadlines, contracts, and policies, with suppliers, and vendors 

  • Assess product and vendor pricing structures 

  • Manage the flow of goods and supplies to ensure efficient production

  • Prepare, and process purchase orders, and requisitions 

  • Determine, implement and oversee buying strategies, plans, and policies

  • Use recording systems to confirm procurement requirements

  • Direct staff activities and assess their performance

  • Train and manage new procurement staff

  • Implement procurement policies and procedures of a company

  • Discuss poor-quality and defective goods with suppliers and take corrective action

  • Attend industry gatherings such as conferences and trade shows to make new supplier contacts 

  • Coordinate with the accounts department to ensure timely payment to suppliers 

  • Evaluate, compare, and approve services and products to be purchased

  • Maintain and update supplier information like qualifications, product ranges, delivery times, etc.

  • Research and evaluate prospective suppliers

  • Make final decisions on budgets

  • Prepare elaborate reports on what the company requires 

  • Compute ways to save costs, or meet budgets by changing suppliers, or sourcing different items 

  • Research, compare and evaluate suppliers to find the best one

  • Stay up to date with global events and market trends that might influence the company



3. Procurement Manager Skills


Successful Procurement Managers usually exhibit the following technical skills and personal attributes:



Hard Skills


  • Good mathematical skills to calculate sums and work with budgets.

  • Computer skills to research items and services on the internet, use inventory control software, spreadsheets to calculate budgets, and word processing software to create reports.

  • Financial skills to manage budgets and understand financial statements.

  • In-depth knowledge of products, supply chain structures and market trends.



Soft Skills


  • An analytical mind 

  • Able to negotiate well to get the most competitive prices for their business

  • Able to work per company standards

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills in dealing with suppliers, procurement staff, accounting staff, and senior management

  • Excellent decision-making skills

  • Management and leadership skills to encourage, and lead employees 

  • Analytical skills to compare suppliers based on price, delivery, quality, and service. 

  • Presentation skills to present research on budgets and business plans to stakeholders, suppliers, etc. 

  • Problem-solving skills to recognise issues and come up with practical solutions.

  • Able to keep up with product and service trends

  • Diplomacy

  • Good at keeping records of purchases and suppliers for analysis and future purchases.



4. What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Procurement Manager?


You don't need any formal qualifications to work as a Procurement Manager. However, as this is a managerial role, you will need years of experience as a Procurement Officer to pursue this position.


A related VET or degree qualification is beneficial as it helps you gain the relevant knowledge, skills, and expertise to work in this role. Let us look at the procurement qualifications in Australia:


  • Consider completing a VET qualification in procurement or a similar field, such as Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting (PSP40616) or a Diploma of Procurement and Contracting (PSP50616) via TAFE or an RTO. Alternatively, you can complete a Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) or a Diploma of Logistics - (TL150415).


  • Gain adequate procurement experience handling the entire procurement lifecycle, including planning, sourcing, and contract execution, to gain a competitive edge when applying for a Procurement Manager role.



5. Steps To Become A Procurement Manager In Australia


As the role of a procurement manager is technical, it is necessary to have relevant qualifications and at least three years of relevant experience. If you wish to pursue this career, these are some steps you could consider:



Step 1: Obtain A Procurement Qualification


The qualifications you need depend on whether you want to work in the public or private sector.


Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting or a Diploma of Procurement and Contracting is beneficial to work in the public sector. The course gives you the skills needed to become a procurement manager and showcase competence to a potential employer.


Those serious about making a long-term career in the private sector and progressing into more advanced roles can consider a Diploma of Logistics qualification.


Some employers expect candidates to have a relevant bachelor's degree in supply management, finance, business, operations management, retail management, business, logistics, or purchasing as an entry-level requirement. This qualification is also essential to pursuing a relevant master's degree (optional).



Step 2: Gain Work Experience


To work in this technical and managerial role, you must have at least five years of experience in procurement or a related area for your application to be considered for employment.


Consider gaining industry experience in a junior procurement role such as a junior buyer, buyer's assistant, or procurement assistant.


Alternatively, you can complete an internship in logistics, supply chain management, or purchasing to apply your theoretical knowledge and build job-ready skills.



Step 3: Get Certified


Getting a professional certification helps you distinguish yourself from professional competitors. It can also help candidates update their knowledge about the best industry practices leading to career advancement and salary increments.


Some of the most common certifications worth considering include:


  • Certified Purchasing Professional

  • Certified Professional in Supply Management 

  • Certified Public Purchasing Officer

  • Certified Professional Public Buyer



Step 4: Attend Industry Events


Staying updated with the latest trends is necessary for qualified Procurement Managers who wish to advance their careers. Trade shows, conferences, and meetings are great ways to widen your professional network.



6. Procurement Manager Courses


We have listed a few most sought courses to prepare for a Procurement Manager career.



Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting (PSP40616) - TAFE NSW


This nationally recognised training is in the form of a traineeship. It helps build a unique and transferable skill set to work in procurement, purchasing, and contracting.



Diploma of Procurement and Contracting (PSP50616) - Monash College


The course improves the knowledge and understanding of procurement participants and contract management in the public sector. It provides the necessary skills to conduct self-directed and independent work as a contract management and procurement professional.



Diploma of Logistics (TL150415) - TAFE QLD


The Diploma of Logistics course is an advanced-level course designed for experienced logistics workers to develop expert knowledge in supply chain operations, logistics, and transport planning to refine their logistics management skills.


Students will also learn how to manage employee relations and emergencies and perform complex technical operations confidently.



Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) – Swinburne Online


Undertaking this major in Logistics and Supply Chain Management will help build a solid base in logistics and supply chain management that is the driving force behind the success of a business. 


Students learn how to handle, store, and distribute products, manage the transportation of resources and goods in a worldwide marketplace, and develop negotiation and project management skills to become ready to step into the workforce.



7. How Much Does A Procurement Manager Earn In Australia?


According to Pay Scale, the average procurement manager's salary is AU$98,398 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$39.24. The average procurement officer's salary in Australia is AU$ 66,705 per year, equivalent to AU$ 28.97 per hour.


The factors determining the salary are the skill set, work experience, expertise, location, the industry they work in, and seniority (level of responsibilities associated with the role).



Estimated Salary of a Procurement Officer Based on Their Experience: 


  • Entry-level Procurement Officers (< 1-year experience): AU$59,267 per year

  • Early career Procurement Officers (1-4 years of experience): AU$63,342 per year 

  • Mid-career Procurement Officers (5-9 years of experience): AU$70,974 per year 

  • Experienced Procurement Officers (10-19 years of experience): AU$71,779 per year 



Estimated Procurement Manager's Salary Based on Their Experience


  • Entry-level Procurement Managers: AU$67,018 per year

  • Early career Procurement Managers: AU$82,139 per year 

  • Mid-career Procurement Managers: AU$98,217 per year 

  • Experienced Procurement Managers: AU$115,512 per year 



Highest Paying Cities For Procurement Managers In Australia


  • Melbourne: $133,956 per year   

  • Sydney: $122,097 per year

  • Macquarie Park: $156,796 per year

  • Brisbane: $147,007 per year

  • Osborne Park: $116,571 per year

  • Perth: $116,503 per year



8. Procurement Manager Job Outlook In Australia


ANZSCO Occupation Group: 133612 - Procurement Managers


Procurement Managers are vital to many organisations for their ability to help companies save money by negotiating better deals with suppliers. When they enhance the quality of the products that companies procure, they create a positive impact and generate more revenue.


For these reasons, more and more businesses are turning to Procurement Managers to deliver growth and margin improvements.


In Australia, procurement is growing and demands procurement officers with the right qualifications and experience.


Working in a fast-paced work environment, robust career prospects, great pay, and travel opportunities to meet global suppliers are a few reasons that make people interested in pursuing this profession.


According to the Australian Labour Market Insights, the Procurement industry will continue experiencing strong growth over the coming five years.



Working Arrangements


Around 94% of employed Procurement Managers work full-time hours for an average of 45 hours per week. It is comparable to all other jobs, 44 hours per week.



Major Industries For Employment 


  • Manufacturing: 19.5%

  • Wholesale Trade: 12.4%

  • Public Administration And Safety: 12.1%

  • Retail Trade: 9.7%

  • Other Industries: 41.8%



Percentage of Employment Throughout Australia


Victoria has the largest share of employment.


  • New South Wales: 33.9%

  • Victoria: 30.9%

  • Queensland: 15.2%

  • South Australia: 5.9%

  • Western Australia: 9.8%

  • Tasmania: 0.8%

  • Northern Territory: 0.7%

  • Australian Capital Territory: 2.8%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


  • The average age of Procurement Managers is 44 years, with most of them between 35 and 44 years. (Average of all other jobs: 40 years).

  • Females constitute 32% of the workforce which is 16 percentage points lower than the average of all other jobs, 48%.



9. Work Environment Of Procurement Managers


Procurement managers often work in an office but may need to travel to check inventory supplies, visit suppliers, and attend conferences and trade shows.


Procurement managers work in various industries and business sectors alongside external suppliers, engineers, and executives to engage in capital projects.



10. Where Do Procurement Managers Work In Australia?


Procurement Officers usually work in a range of industries and employment sectors. The largest employers of these professionals include:


  • Large businesses

  • Government organisations

  • Companies and corporate enterprises 

  • Federal executive branches

  • Manufacturing firms

  • Wholesale trade and Retail trade businesses

  • Aerospace parts manufacturing firms

  • Consulting agencies



11. Career Advancement For Procurement Managers


Procurement Managers with several years of experience can become procurement specialists and work in a specific industry or with certain products like Information Technology systems.



12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Is Procurement A Hard Career?


Is a career in procurement stressful? - It is a common question that most budding procurement professionals have before they start their careers. As every job has its advantages and downsides, a career in procurement is no different.


It is a challenging field that involves performing complex and varied tasks. The job is predominantly outwards focused, where you liaise with individuals from several sectors, accumulating a wealth of cross-industry experience.


Before we discuss the reasons that make the career difficult, let us look at the major types of jobs available in the procurement field:



  • Purchasing Agent

  • Supply Chain Manager

  • Strategic Sourcing Manager

  • Procurement Specialist

  • Operations Manager

  • Materials Manager

  • Distribution Manager

  • Logistics Manager

  • Commodity Manager


Like other professions, being a Procurement Manager can be stressful as they are under immense pressure to get the best deals for their organisation. If there are any product issues, then procurement officers must solve them.


Furthermore, as the field is very competitive, many professionals need help to advance in a career in procurement. 


Working in the procurement industry can be monotonous. It can involve plenty of negotiation and paperwork, making it challenging to develop supplier relations. Travelling is another factor that could lead to stress and make it hard to strike a work-life balance.


Moreover, as this is an ever-changing field, you must be flexible and adaptable to change. Due to this, the role is perfect for those who prefer working in an ever-changing and fast-paced environment. You can pursue and succeed in the profession with the right skills, knowledge, and determination.



Can You Make Good Money In Procurement?


Almost all Procurement jobs pay well. With knowledge and experience, your earning capacity increases.


To further increase your earnings, consider starting your career in consulting to gain experience in the operations or strategy side rather than just having deep functional expertise. It can lead to higher compensation based on current market trends.


Understanding technology and its effects (beyond basics such as MS Access or MS Excel), such as e-sourcing, can be an advantage in procurement, strategy, and operations consulting.



Which Is Better, Logistics or Procurement?


Before we understand which is the better option to pursue, you need to understand the differences between these fields. Procurement refers to individuals related to purchasing and delivering company products, including raw materials, machine components, and other items.


Where procurement is all about buying, Logistics is more concerned with the organisation of the goods. Logistics is a broader term for overseeing the procurement process, facilitating shipping and export, and examining costs and efficiencies in a company's supply chain.


Logistics manages the acquisition, storage, and transportation of resources to their destination. Procurement is a small subset of logistics whose scope is limited to only procuring raw materials for trade, production, etc.


Logistics encompasses the entire supply chain management - procurement, storage and warehousing, and distribution. The growing significance of logistics makes it a highly demanding sector worldwide, making it a better career option than procurement.



What Does A Senior Procurement Officer's Job Include?


Here is the senior procurement officer's job description:


  • Drive business improvement

  • Coordinate across a strategic procurement function

  • Partner with investors to plan, develop, source, and manage procurement arrangements to meet organisational objectives. 

  • Ensure the correctness of purchasing parameters and master data to execute site procurement strategies

  • Manage relations with suppliers, procurement teams, and internal customers

  • Offer support in the centralisation of CRM reporting activities

  • Seek and lead innovative ways to enhance the procurement process

  • Lead and advise clients and colleagues in handling complicated procurement tasks and issues

  • Coordinate and communicate buying procedures, and policies to suppliers

  • Escalate supplier's constraints or issues to the Procurement Manager 



What Are The Assistant Procurement Officer's Duties?


The procurement assistant performs the following duties daily:


  • Process local purchase requisitions

  • Carry out negotiations and contracting 

  • Ensure accuracy and completeness in purchasing processes – placing bids, entering order details, and accelerating order delivery)

  • Prepare, verify, abstract, control, or close procurement documents, records, files, or reports.

  • Sort, compile, type, and distribute requisitions, orders, and contract modifications.

  • Track the status of contracts, orders, and requisitions via automated or manual files with vendors, inventory managers, supply technicians, and engineers

  • Maintain strong working relations with vendors

  • Assemble contract file information 

  • Enter purchase order into a management information system

  • Compare product delivery with the issued purchase order and contact vendors in the case of discrepancies.

  • Review reports and identify conflicting data or errors in the procurement documentation

  • Assist in developing manual and automated procurement procedures

  • Escalate emerging risks to the Procurement Manager for resolution

  • Remain updated with industry trends and set long-term buying arrangements with vendors in the best interest of the company



Are Procurement Managers In Demand?


As companies realise the importance of procurement in their cost optimisation, profitability, and growth strategy, Procurement Managers are in high demand across several industries to deliver tangible benefits to the business. These include:


  • Government: For negotiating vendor contracts to identify economical solutions when obtaining supplies for public service organisations and government offices.


  • Retail and Wholesale Trade: Find and choose products that stores or consumers need the most.


  • Manufacturing: Buy low-cost materials, supplies, and tools, helping to sell products at a profitable price.


Procurement managers must stay on top of new trends, regulations, and technology as they often will be expected to lead on innovation. It can create a competitive advantage for the business.



13. Conclusion


Procurement is a varied and exciting role with good employment prospects. When working across various formats with different stakeholders, you get ample opportunities to prove your worth and take charge of your projects from start to end. 


However, there is no denying the fact that it is a challenging career choice. Whether you work through a company merger or deal with difficult suppliers, this profession will test your skills.


As the ability to cope with stress varies from person to person, the profession is ideal for those who thrive in challenging and fast-paced environments. If you find yourself fit for the role, a Diploma in Procurement and Contracting is the perfect qualification to kickstart your career.


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