How to be a Contract Administrator

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    Job description and salary of a contract administrator

    By University Alliance

    To pursue a career as a contract administrator, individuals should first understand the high level of accountability and responsibility that accompanies the role. Contract administration is a blossoming career field and can offer candidates many opportunities for growth as it becomes more relevant and of vital importance to an increasing number of organizations. The overall requirements of a successful contract administrator typically include the following:

    1. Extreme attention to detail and ability to spot errors and inconsistencies

    2. Excellent reading and language comprehension

    3. Strong desire to work amongst a team and individuals at all levels of an organization

    4. Effective ability to negotiate and execute contracts

    5. Proven management and leadership skills

    6. Exceptional communication skills and ability to speak your opinion

    The day-to-day roles and responsibilities of a contract administrator include duties that are essential to the successful management and execution of contracts on behalf of the organizations they work for. These contracts can vary in complexity and type, and can include rental or sale contracts, purchase contracts, employment contracts or contract proposals for new business.

    The following is a sample of the fundamental job duties and functions that can apply to contract administration roles within most industries and organizations.

    • Work with all levels within an organization to analyze and solidify an overall contract strategy

    • Coordinate actions with internal procurement and legal teams if needed

    • Report status of current contract processes to management

    • Resolve any existing contract conflicts

    • Create language standards and rules for existing and new contracts

    • Serve as a liaison between internal and external parties during contract development and negotiation stages

    • Negotiate all terms, conditions and pricing, and ensure they are accurately executed and satisfied

    • Follow up to guarantee all contractual payments have been made

    • Analyze any potential risks that contract changes may pose to the organization

    In addition to having the ability to effectively accomplish these key roles and responsibilities, to successfully land a position as a contract administrator, it is highly recommended that individuals have a master’s degree in business administration or a related field such as mathematics, economics, or accounting.

    Some organizations will also hire candidates with an undergraduate degree including a bachelor’s degree with the same field concentrations, but most often, a bachelor’s degree must be accompanied by a significant level of related work experience. Also, in certain instances, contract administrators may be required to have a degree in law, or paralegal experience.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, similar occupations to contract administrators, such as administrative services managers, earned a median annual salary of $81,080 in 2012 and the field is estimated to grow at a rate of 12% from 2012 to 2022. However, those seeking a career as a contract manager should perform their own research into salary, job growth potential and job requirements in their local area.

    Some examples of the wide variety of organizations currently hiring for contract administrative positions include law firms, engineering firms, hospitals, colleges and universities, healthcare facilities, utility companies, insurance companies, financial institutions, construction companies, oil companies and all levels of local, state and federal government.


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