A chief procurement officer is a company executive who is in charge of managing the purchases of supplies, equipment, raw materials, and products necessary in manufacturing, office, and retail settings. A professional is required to conduct extensive economical research about a company and industry to make procurement decisions. An individual who wants to become a chief procurement officer is generally required to obtain a bachelor's degree or higher in business administration or economics, gain business experience by working in other positions, and seeking credentials offered by national supply management organizations.
A college student believes that he or she wants to become a chief procurement officer can enroll in a four-year bachelor's degree program at an accredited university or college. Most undergraduates choose to major in economics, finance, accounting, or business administration to prepare for executive careers in purchasing and allocating goods. Students often seek employment at various businesses as clerks or office workers to learn more about the workings of a business and start building their business resumes.
An individual may be able to become a chief procurement officer after receiving a bachelor's degree and spending several years advancing in a corporation, but most hopeful executives choose to pursue advanced degrees. Students enrolled in master's or doctoral degree programs usually take many detailed courses in economics, business management, statistics, math, and communications. Many business schools help students find internships at office buildings and industrial plants to better prepare them for their eventual careers.
Upon graduation, most prospective chief procurement officers are able to find employment as entry-level office workers or managers, where they gain firsthand experience dealing with coworkers, bosses, customers, and business clients. A worker who wishes to become a chief procurement officer often tries to obtain positions in human resources and supply management within a company in order to gain experience handling financial matters and purchasing materials and goods. With enough time at a company and proven skills, an experienced worker may be able to advance within the corporation and eventually become a chief procurement officer.
Beginning procurement officers can benefit by acquiring certification credentials from nationally-recognized business organizations. In the United States, a new or hopeful chief procurement officer can take a written examination administered by the Institute for Supply Management to prove his or her knowledge of procurement procedures, regulations, and strategies. Many other countries have national boards similar to the Institute of Supply Management that issue credentials to successful chief procurement officers.