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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

A Contracts Administrator prepares, examines, negotiates, and revises contracts that involve the acquisition of goods or services such as materials, supplies, products, or equipment. They also analyze potential risks involved with specific contracts.

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.


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.


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.


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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Contracts Administrator Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Mandarin

  • Portuguese

  • Italian

  • Arabic

  • Polish

  • Korean

  • Cantonese

  • Greek

  • Tagalog

  • Carrier

  • Swahili

  • Ukrainian

  • Turkish

  • Croatian

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Contracts Administrator

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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
SR. Contracts Administrator E2 Consulting Engineers, Inc. Emeryville, CA Sep 29, 2015 $135,262
Senior Manager, Contract Administration Dexcom, Inc. San Diego, CA Apr 17, 2015 $135,000
Senior Contract Administrator Matt-Alex, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 09, 2016 $109,907
Contract Administrator Conmeta Inc. Paramus, NJ Sep 27, 2016 $108,493 -
Contracts Administrator Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 30, 2015 $108,108 -
Manager, Contract Administration Haemonetics Corporation Braintree Town, MA Jan 02, 2014 $105,082 -
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
Contracts Administrator (Business Planning Analyst) Analog Devices Inc. Wilmington, MA Jul 22, 2016 $76,690 -
Construction Contracts Administrator Blackstone Contractors LLC New York, NY Dec 30, 2016 $76,656
International Contract Administrator Kylin TV, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 30, 2015 $76,217
Contract Administrator M.S. International CA Jan 10, 2016 $76,000
Contract Administrator Metallica Commodities Corp. White Plains, NY Sep 02, 2014 $75,000
Legal Specialist-Contract Administration SG Equipment Finance USA Corp. Jersey City, NJ Sep 07, 2015 $75,000
Contracts Administrator Knewton, Inc. New York, NY Aug 10, 2015 $75,000
Manager, Contract Administration Management & Training Corporation Centerville, UT Feb 23, 2015 $75,000 -
Contract Administrator Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu Ny LLP New York, NY Aug 22, 2015 $66,726
Contract Administrator Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu Ny LLP New York, NY Aug 02, 2015 $66,726
Contract Administrator Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu Ny LLP New York, NY Aug 28, 2014 $65,541
Contract Administrator Freeport Minerals Corporation Claypool, AZ Dec 30, 2016 $65,500
Contract Administrator Freeport-McMoran Miami Inc. Claypool, AZ Dec 30, 2016 $65,500
Contract Administrator Conmeta Inc. Paramus, NJ Jan 10, 2016 $65,270 -
Contract Administrator Conmeta Inc. Paramus, NJ Sep 27, 2016 $65,270 -
Contract Administrator Advanced International Services Houston, TX Sep 06, 2013 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Contracts Administrator


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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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