Ethical Sourcing Officer


Education and Training Requirements

High School

A well-rounded education while in high school is a good foundation for this field. Take business, computer, economics, math, environmental, and social science classes. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are important for this type of work so be sure to take English and writing classes. Ethical sourcing officers travel frequently, sometimes to other countries to visit suppliers; foreign language classes are helpful.

Postsecondary Training

Most ethical sourcing officers have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer to hire sourcing specialists with a master's degree. Ethical sourcing officers may have a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, logistics, or a related field. Some may have a degree in environmental studies or another specialization related to the industry in which they work. In general, college course work should cover topics such as business administration and management, economics, finance, purchasing, statistics, as well as ethics, government and law, and social sciences. Familiarity with computers is also important. The ability to write reports and make presentations is a key part of this job, so be sure to take English and speech classes.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements


Ethical sourcing officers may have voluntary certification to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in specialized areas, and enhance their careers. The Sourcing Industry Group University ( offers the following certification programs: certified sourcing professional, certified supplier management professional, certified third party risk management professional, and certified intelligent automation professional. Other organizations that offer certification include the Institute for Supply Management ( and the American Purchasing Society (

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Most employers prefer to hire ethical sourcing officers with several years work experience in ethical sourcing and ethical practices.

Ethical sourcing managers have strong knowledge of ethical trade policy. They are organized and analytical, able to identify problems and potential issues and come up with solutions. People who do well in this type of job are able to work independently and also collaboratively with teams. The job requires clear communication and presentation skills, proactivity, and self-motivation. Strong interpersonal skills are essential for communicating effectively internally and externally. Some companies may also prefer ethical sourcing officers to have working knowledge of a foreign language. Individuals interested in this field are usually tenacious and dedicated to improving ethical standards and sustainability in sourcing.