The skills needed to become a procurement manager are:
- Negotiation skills: You need to negotiate the contracts in order to get the best price and the best quality.
- Organizations skills: You need to have some great organizations skills. Here's why:
- You need to get the right vendor for the right material (that your company wants to purchase) immediately.
- You need to manage your procurement team, and a manager has to be organized.
- Communication skills: As a procurement manager, it is imperative to have great communication skills as you need to communicate with a lot of people, including the vendors, the executives, the project managers, etc... Communication skills are also necessary in the bidding process.
- Decision making skills: You can't procrastinate your decisions, you need to make prompt and immediate decisions when it comes to signing contracts, buying material, etc...
- Ability to say "No": You have to be able to say "No" to the vendor or the executives in your company especially when they're telling you to buy a material that you know is costly or of low quality.
- Honesty and integrity: Although these are not really "skills", honesty is extremely important for procurement managers. As a procurement manager, you are tempted to make some money "on the side" (by making side deals with unethical vendors, who will usually bribe you just to make your company purchase from them). Sooner or later you will get caught, so beware.
Now from my experience, the best procurement manager is one who has a sales background, with a business degree.
Procurement managers make an average salary of around $85,000/year in the US.
Note: A procurement manager is also referred to as a "Purchasing Manager".