How to start the journey into becoming a Construction Procurement Specialist?
Posted by Daria Tkach, Senior Recruitment Consultant on Tuesday, July 5, 2022
So, you’ve researched becoming a Procurement Specialist and feel it could be the right career for you. But where do you begin? What kind of degree do you need? Do you even need a degree?
Where do I start?
Although there’s always the option to try and become a Procurement Specialist through Apprenticeships or School Leaver Schemes, Glassdoor estimates approximately 89% of people working as a Procurement Agent/Specialist earned a Bachelor’s degree in a business, finance, or industry related field.
As the majority of people hold a Bachelors in the procurement sector, obtaining a Master’s degree is a great way to stand out and show the extra work, competence and dedication to your craft. It can also help you be considered for high seniority positions from as soon as your graduation. Other factors, such as knowing or learning an additional language are always beneficial. They not only help set you apart from the crowd but can provide you with the opportunity to travel with your job.
If a degree really isn’t the way for you, you can search and apply for Procurement Specialist/Agent internships or apprenticeships. Although, be prepared to start at a much lower wage than you would with an entry-level procurement job. One notable upside to this method of starting your career is the possibility to be kept on full-time by your employer once your previous contract is finished. It means you’ll know the day-to-day schedule and expectations, along with the company’s working environment and team members.
After earning your degree, you’ll want to consider applying for a Procurement Specialist apprenticeship, internship, or entry level role. You can even look for summer internships during University to give yourself some experience and negotiate better terms when starting a full-time position. Getting an internship or apprenticeship can give you the practical experience to prove your education can translate to real world skill.
Earning additional professional certifications can help you expand your procurement knowledge and skills, again proving you can physically implement the skills you learnt previously. There are numerous qualifications you can earn as a Procurement Specialist; the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) always looks impressive on a CV and shows real dedication, and the Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM), offer training courses with certificates and diplomas all the way up to Level 7 Extended Diploma in Purchasing Strategy.
After these steps you’ll want to start applying for full-time roles. Bachelor’s degree holders with no prior experience will want to look at entry-level procurement jobs, whilst those with a Master’s or experience won’t be as limited and can even look towards mid-senior and higher roles. With the current UK skill shortage, many companies are more open to hiring post-graduate degree holders for leadership positions, such as Procurement Manager jobs – despite a lack of real-world experience.
How can I keep my career progressing?
Even once you’ve secured a full-time position, it is important to keep you career growing and under constant review. You might find you’re more comfortable joining an organisation likes the CIPS at this stage in your career. You may also want to speak to a procurement recruitment specialist like Maxim Recruitment. Otherwise, as with any construction career, growing your career means being able to negotiate your salary, work your way up to more senior roles, and even move to companies in different skill sectors. You might even consider a career change into a related role; three common roles include Procurement Analyst, Purchasing Agent, and even Operations Manager.
Overall, becoming a Procurement Specialist can be a very rewarding and fulfilling career for the right kind of person; it requires hard work, dedication to your craft, and the ability to constantly adapt and think on your feet. This fast-paced job is ideal for anyone looking for an office job with an exciting, fresh routine each day.
Maxim Recruitment specializes in procurement job roles relating to construction, property, transport, rail, water, power, nuclear and MOD/defence sectors. If you have experience in these sectors or transferable category experience from other sectors, please get in touch with your CV to discuss a range of opportunities available across the UK.