Job Family: Business Administration and Operations Purchasing and Contracting Managers
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard

Photo 1: Purchaser looks over recent transactions. Photo 2:
Contract manager discuss details of recent purchase.

Short Description
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

Helpful Attributes
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 detail

Training Provided
Job training consists 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

Work Environment
Purchasing and contracting managers work in offices.

Civilian Counterparts
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.

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