Contract administration is an essential part of many companies and organizations that deals with the management of contracts among a variety of employees, customers, partners, and vendors. Contract administrators are trained professionals that supervise the preparation, evaluation, negotiation, and review of a variety of contracts.
What does a contract administrator do?
Contract administrators assist in creating, negotiating, and assessing the terms and conditions of contracts between a company or organization and clients or venders. They make sure all parties understand and abide by the contract. They work with a variety of contracts such as the sale or purchase of products, services, equipment, materials, and supplies. They understand the structure of many different contracts and analyze the potential risks. Contract administrators also document any changes to contracts. Sometimes contract administrators write the terms of contracts and organize activities using contracts and software.
What kind of training does a contract administrator need?
Contract administrators usually need at least a bachelor degree in contract management, business administration, human resources or other related field. Contract administrators typically take courses in contract management, contract assessment, business, statistics, accounting, business law, and human resources. Contract administrators must have sufficient work experience and many begin their careers in entry-level positions such as cost analysts or contract specialists and advance to higher level positions as they gain the essential skills and experience. Most employers provide on the job training for new contract administrators to learn the procedures and policies of the company or organization. Many contract administrators gain certification from the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management. Certification requirements typically include minimum education and experience and passing an examination. Contract administrators must renew their certification every two years.
What are the prospects for a career as a contract administrator?
Employment of contract administrators is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 12% through 2016 (1). The increase in contract activities will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be good with strong competition for high level positions. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace contract administrators that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do contract administrators make?
As of this year, the middle 50% of contract administrators earn annual salaries between $39,827 and $51,134. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $56,802 (2).
A career as a contract administrator is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in contract management and related tasks. Contract administrators must have good leadership skills and be able to organize many activities at one time. Detail orientation, flexibility, analytical thinking, and good decision making skills are necessary characteristics. Contract administrators must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they interact with a variety of other professionals and employees. They must also be able to quickly assess and resolve problems and be able to work under pressure to meet strict deadlines.