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Become A Contracts Administrator

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Working As A Contracts Administrator

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $72,990

    Average Salary

What Does A Contracts Administrator Do

Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products.

Duties

Buyers and purchasing agents typically do the following:

  • Evaluate suppliers on the basis of the price, quality, and speed of delivery of their products and services
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers’ plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other information to determine reasonable prices
  • Negotiate contracts on behalf of their organization
  • Work out agreements with suppliers, such as when products will be delivered
  • Meet with staff and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action
  • Evaluate and monitor contracts to be sure that vendors and supplies comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and to determine the need for changes
  • Maintain and review records of items bought, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories

Buyers and purchasing agents buy farm products, durable and nondurable goods, and services for organizations and institutions. They try to get the best deal for their organization: the highest quality goods and services at the lowest cost. They do this by studying sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identifying foreign and domestic suppliers, and keeping up to date with changes affecting both the supply of, and demand for, products and materials.

Purchasing agents and buyers consider price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support when choosing suppliers and merchandise. To be effective, purchasing agents and buyers must have a working technical knowledge of the goods or services they are purchasing.

Evaluating suppliers is one of the most critical functions of a buyer or purchasing agent. Many organizations run on a lean manufacturing schedule and use just-in-time inventories, so any delays in the supply chain can shut down production and cause the organization to lose customers.

Buyers and purchasing agents use many resources to find out all they can about potential suppliers. They attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers.

They often interview prospective suppliers and visit their plants and distribution centers to assess their capabilities. For example, they may discuss the design of products with design engineers, quality concerns with production supervisors, or shipping issues with managers in the receiving department.

Buyers and purchasing agents must make certain that the supplier can deliver the desired goods or services on time, in the correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality. Once they have gathered information on suppliers, they sign contracts with suppliers who meet the organization’s needs and they place orders.

Buyers who purchase items to resell to customers may determine which products their organization will sell. They need to be able to predict what will appeal to their customers. If they are wrong, they could jeopardize the profits and reputation of their organization.

Buyers who work for large organizations often specialize in purchasing one or two categories of products or services. Buyers who work for smaller businesses or government agencies may be responsible for making a greater variety of purchases.

Wholesale and retail buyers purchase goods for resale to consumers. Examples of these goods are clothing and electronics. Purchasing specialists who buy finished goods for resale are commonly known as buyers or merchandise managers.

Purchasing agents and buyers of farm products buy agricultural products for further processing or resale. Examples of these products are grain, cotton, and tobacco.

Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products buy items for the operation of an organization. Examples of these items are chemicals and industrial equipment needed for a manufacturing establishment, and office supplies.

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How To Become A Contracts Administrator

Although a high school diploma may be sufficient for some positions, many employers require buyers and purchasing agents to have a bachelor’s degree. Most entry-level positions require some form of on-the-job training.

Education

Educational requirements usually vary with the size of the organization. Although a high school diploma may be enough at some organizations, many businesses require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. For many positions, a degree in business, finance, or supply management is sufficient.

For those interested in a career as a buyer or purchasing agent of farm products, a degree in agriculture, agriculture production, or animal science is often beneficial.

Training

Buyers and purchasing agents typically get on-the-job training for more than 1 year. During this time, they learn how to perform their basic duties, including monitoring inventory levels and negotiating with suppliers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There are several certifications available for buyers and purchasing agents. Although some employers require certification, many do not.

Most of these certifications involve oral or written exams and have education and work experience requirements.

The Institute for Supply Management offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) credential, which covers a wide scope of purchasing professional duties. To receive the CPSM credential, candidates must pass three exams and those with a bachelor’s degree must possess at least 3 years of relevant work experience while those without a bachelor’s degree must have at least 5 years of relevant work experience.

The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) certification. The CPP certification is valid for 5 years. Candidates must earn a certain number of professional development “points” to renew their certification. Candidates initially become eligible and can renew their certification through a combination of purchasing-related experience, education, and professional contributions (such as published articles or delivered speeches).

APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of relevant business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential. The credential is valid for 5 years. Candidates must also earn a certain number of professional development points to renew their certification.

The Next Level Purchasing Association offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification. Although there are no education or work experience requirements, applicants must complete six online courses and pass an SPSM exam. Certification is valid for 4 years. Candidates must complete 32 continuing education hours in procurement-related topics to recertify for an additional four-year period.

The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two certifications for workers in federal, state, and local government. The Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credential requires applicants to have earned at least an associate’s degree, possess at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, possess at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and complete additional training courses.

Those with the CPPB or the CPPO designation must renew their certification every 5 years by completing continuing education courses or attending procurement-related conferences or events.

The National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP), Institute for Public Procurement offers preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.

Advancement

An experienced purchasing agent or buyer may become an assistant purchasing manager before advancing to purchasing manager, supply manager, or director of materials management. Buyers and purchasing agents with extensive work experience can also advance to become the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for an organization.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. When evaluating suppliers, buyers and purchasing agents must analyze their options and choose a supplier with the best combination of price, quality, delivery, or service. 

Decisionmaking skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must have the ability to make informed and timely decisions, choosing products that they think will sell.

Math skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must possess basic math skills. They must be able to compare prices from different suppliers to ensure that their organization is getting the best deal. 

Negotiating skills. Buyers and purchasing agents often must negotiate the terms of a contract with a supplier. Interpersonal skills and self-confidence, in addition to knowledge of the product, can help lead to successful negotiations.

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Contracts Administrator jobs

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Contracts Administrator Career Paths

Contracts Administrator
Purchasing Manager Contracts Manager
Contracts Director
12 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Specialist Paralegal
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Subcontracts Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Strategic Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Director, Procurement
13 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Business Analyst Product Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Program Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Procurement Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Subcontract Administrator Subcontracts Manager Purchasing Manager
Project Procurement Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Manager, Procurement
11 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Account Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Sourcing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Subcontracts Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Human Resources Coordinator Senior Recruiter
Vending Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Contracts Manager 3.8 years
Contracts Director 3.5 years
Contractor Buyer 3.3 years
Administrator 3.2 years
Contract Analyst 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Buyer 5.8%
Paralegal 4.0%
Internship 3.6%
Manager 3.0%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.2%
Buyer 3.8%
Manager 2.9%
Paralegal 2.4%

Contracts Administrator Demographics

Gender

Female

64.8%

Male

33.2%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

80.6%

Hispanic or Latino

10.2%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.7%

French

10.5%

German

6.3%

Chinese

4.3%

Japanese

3.9%

Russian

3.7%

Mandarin

3.6%

Portuguese

3.4%

Italian

2.8%

Arabic

2.4%

Polish

1.6%

Korean

1.4%

Cantonese

1.4%

Greek

1.4%

Tagalog

1.2%

Carrier

1.0%

Swahili

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%

Croatian

0.6%
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Contracts Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.7%

Strayer University

8.7%

George Washington University

8.6%

Villanova University

7.9%

University of Maryland - University College

5.1%

Webster University

5.0%

George Mason University

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

Northeastern University

3.4%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.9%

Temple University

2.8%

Arizona State University

2.7%

San Diego State University

2.7%

University of Central Florida

2.6%

Michigan State University

2.6%

Capella University

2.5%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.4%

American University

2.4%
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Majors

Business

41.4%

Law

7.1%

Accounting

7.0%

Management

6.5%

Legal Support Services

4.4%

Political Science

4.1%

Finance

3.9%

Marketing

2.7%

Psychology

2.5%

Communication

2.5%

Project Management

2.3%

Human Resources Management

2.1%

Education

2.0%

English

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

General Studies

1.5%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

1.4%

Economics

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.7%

Masters

21.8%

Other

18.7%

Associate

8.4%

Certificate

6.9%

Doctorate

5.6%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Contracts Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Contracts Administrator IV-AGA Texas LLC Houston, TX Apr 30, 2013 $145,000
Contracts Administrator IV-AGA Texas LLC Houston, TX Sep 21, 2013 $145,000
Contract Administrator Christopher Designs Inc. New York, NY May 10, 2016 $141,835
Contract Administrator Conmeta Inc. Paramus, NJ Sep 27, 2016 $108,493 -
$179,774
Contracts Administrator Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 30, 2015 $108,108 -
$183,060
Contract Administrator E2 Consulting Engineers, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 17, 2014 $103,168
Contracts Administrator/Landscaping Fort Myer Construction Corporaton Washington, DC Oct 01, 2015 $102,305
Contract Administrator Chevron Corporation Houston, TX Aug 28, 2013 $95,390
Contract Compliance Administrator Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Milwaukee, WI Jan 12, 2015 $95,000
Contract Compliance Administrator Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Milwaukee, WI Mar 01, 2014 $95,000
Contract Administrator (Procurement & Negotiation) Allegheny Medical Systems, LLC Boca Raton, FL Sep 22, 2015 $94,332
Contract Administrator (Procurement & Negotiation) Allegheny Medical Systems, LLC Boca Raton, FL Sep 18, 2015 $94,332
Contracts Administrator-FIN Oracle America, Inc. Belmont, CA Aug 09, 2016 $93,974 -
$122,014
Contracts Administrator AFI, LLC Beverly Hills, CA Jan 26, 2015 $73,000
Engineering Contracts Administrator Vepica USA, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 31, 2015 $72,800
Grant/Contracts Administrator Curadel, LLC Worcester, MA Sep 03, 2014 $72,738 -
$73,840
Contract Administrator Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ Feb 15, 2014 $72,303
Contract Administrator AWA Security, Inc. Hialeah, FL Jan 09, 2016 $72,000
Contract Administrator AA & Saba Consultants, Inc. Orlando, FL Sep 01, 2014 $72,000
Contracts Administrator Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu Ny LLP New York, NY Jun 09, 2016 $71,053
Contract Administrator Advanced International Services Houston, TX Sep 06, 2013 $65,000
Contract Administrator Advanced International Services Houston, TX Sep 29, 2015 $65,000
Contract Administrator Comcare Home Health Inc. Glendale, CA Oct 16, 2015 $62,610
Administrator II, Contract Administration Aecom Technical Services, Inc. Phoenix, AZ Mar 28, 2016 $62,338 -
$96,600
Contract Administrator Win Development Inc. McLean, VA Dec 09, 2016 $62,026
Contract Administrator David Orr Associates McLean, VA Sep 23, 2016 $62,026
Contracts Administrator Freeport McMoran Miami Inc. Claypool, AZ Dec 30, 2013 $62,000
Contract Adminidtrator Win Development, Inc. McLean, VA Dec 04, 2016 $61,818

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Top Skills for A Contracts Administrator

ProposalPreparationEnsureComplianceProceduresPurchaseOrdersContractAdministrationFinancialReportsRFPContractRequirementsAuditContractTermsCustomerServiceContractManagementContractNegotiationsPayrollCompanyPoliciesContractDocumentsCounselNon-DisclosureAgreementsSafetyGovernmentContracts

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Top Contracts Administrator Skills

  1. Proposal Preparation
  2. Ensure Compliance
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Bid and proposal preparation including pricing.
  • Partner with outside counsel to ensure compliance in key areas of tax, intellectual property, privacy and employment.
  • Created policy and procedures to limit exposure and/or loss to the organization; renegotiated contracts resulting in significant savings.
  • Processed change orders and purchase orders, managed Employee handbook, construction manual and office equipment etc.
  • Contract Administration/Vendor Management - Primary resource for improving divisional negotiating skills and best practices.

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