Military Career: Purchasing and Contracting Managers
The military buys billions of dollars worth of equipment, supplies, and services from private industry each year. The services must make sure their purchases meet military specifications and are made at a fair price. Purchasing and contracting managers negotiate, write, and monitor contracts for purchasing equipment, materials, and services.
What They Do
Purchasing and contracting managers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Review requests for supplies and services to make sure they are complete and accurate
- Prepare bid invitations or requests for proposals for contracts with civilian firms
- Review bids or proposals and award contracts
- Prepare formal contracts, specifying all terms and conditions
- Review work to make sure that it meets the requirements of contracts
Branches of the Military
Helpful fields of study include management and business or public administration. Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to develop detailed plans
- Interest in negotiating
- Interest in work requiring accuracy and attention to de
Job training consists of 3 to 10 weeks of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty. Further training occurs through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
- Purchasing and accounting procedures
- Use of computers in contract administration
- Supply and financial management
Purchasing and contracting managers work in offices.
Civilian purchasing and contracting managers work for a wide variety of employers, including engineering, manufacturing, and construction firms. They perform duties similar to those performed by military purchasing and contract managers. They may also be called procurement services managers, purchasing directors, contracts administrators, or material control managers.
Below is a list of similar civilian occupations:
The services have about 4,000 purchasing and contracting managers. Each year, they need new contracting managers due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After training, purchasing and contracting managers work with and advise commanders on contract proposals. With experience, they may advance to senior management and command positions.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Washington D.C.