Often employed in the construction and manufacturing industries, a sourcing specialist is responsible for making purchases, usually of industry-specific materials or equipment. Effective communication skills are a must; sourcing specialists need to maintain good relationships and negotiate with suppliers as well as with employees in other departments. Sourcing specialists also need strong analytic and project management skills to assess the company's material needs and fill them quickly. The responsibilities of a sourcing specialist usually include maintaining records, preparing bids for suppliers and ensuring that all processes are streamlined and efficient.
Sourcing Specialist Education
Most companies that are hiring for sourcing specialist jobs require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, preferably in business management or a related field, in addition to a varying number of years of experience in purchasing and procurement. Some employers may also require an applicant to become a Certified Purchasing Manager with a nationally recognized organization.
Depending on the type of company, it may be helpful to be familiar with specialized database software in order to track and analyze data. Proficiency in word processing and spreadsheet software is also often required. Applicants are encouraged to be up to date with the latest market trends in the industry and with the best practices of procurement and purchasing.
Sourcing Specialist Job Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 71,900 purchasing manager jobs in 2012; sourcing specialists are included in this figure. The expected job growth over the next several years is far below the national average, so candidates can expect stiff competition for available jobs. There are an estimated 17,300 available purchasing manager job openings per year on average.
Sourcing Specialist Salaries
The median salary for sourcing specialist jobs in the U.S. is $100,200. Employees working for large companies that regularly process a high volume of material can expect to be on the high end of the pay scale.