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Become A Contracts Director

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Working As A Contracts Director

  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $139,637

    Average Salary

What Does A Contracts Director Do

Purchasing managers plan, direct, and coordinate the buying of materials, products, or services for wholesalers, retailers, or organizations. They oversee the work of procurement-related occupations including buyers and purchasing agents.

Duties

Purchasing managers typically do the following:

  • Coordinate the activities of buyers and purchasing agents engaged in buying materials, equipment, or supplies for the organization
  • Supervise, hire, and train staff
  • Evaluate potential suppliers on the basis of price, quality, and speed of delivery
  • 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
  • Ensure that vendors and suppliers comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and, if they don’t, determine the need for changes

Purchasing managers plan and coordinate the work of buyers and purchasing agents and hire and train new staff.

Purchasing managers, sometimes known as contract managers, are also responsible for developing their organization’s procurement policies and procedures. These policies help ensure that procurement professionals are meeting ethical standards to avoid potential conflicts of interest or inappropriate supplier and customer relations.

Besides establishing procurement standards, purchasing managers set guidelines on how often their department will get price quotes for items, how many bids to accept, and which vendors to consider.

In addition to carrying out their managerial and administrative responsibilities, purchasing managers buy goods and services for their organization or institution. Like buyers and purchasing agents, purchasing managers negotiate contracts and consider price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support when identifying and choosing suppliers and merchandise. Their negotiations and contracts are typically more complex than those carried out by buyers and purchasing agents.

Purchasing managers must study their organization’s sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identify foreign and domestic suppliers, and keep up to date with changes affecting both the supply of, and demand for, products and materials.

Purchasing managers 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 to make contacts with suppliers.

Before signing a contract and placing an order, purchasing managers must make certain that the supplier can deliver the desired goods or services on time, in the correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality. Purchasing managers monitor the terms of the contracts in order to ensure that the supplier is complying with its terms and conditions and resolve any supplier-related issues that arise.

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How To Become A Contracts Director

Purchasing managers need a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a buyer or purchasing agent.

Education

Purchasing managers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree and some work experience in procurement. A master’s degree may be required for advancement to some top-level purchasing manager jobs.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Purchasing managers typically must have at least 5 years of experience as a buyer or purchasing agent. At the top levels, purchasing manager duties may overlap with other management functions, such as production, planning, logistics, and marketing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There are several certifications available for purchasing managers and others employed in a procurement-related field. Although some employers require certification, many do not.

Most of the 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 possess at least 3 years of relevant work experience for those with a bachelor’s degree or 5 years of relevant work experience for those without a bachelor’s degree.

The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) and the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) credentials. 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 articles published or speeches delivered).

APICS, founded as the American Production and Inventory Control Society, offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of related business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential, which 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 4-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, to have at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and to complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, to have at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and to 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’s (NIGP’s) Institute for Public Procurement offers preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.

Advancement

An experienced and qualified purchasing manager may advance to become the chief procurement officer for a business or organization.

Important Qualities

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

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

Math skills. Purchasing managers 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. Purchasing managers 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 negotiation.

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Contracts Director Demographics

Gender

Male

55.3%

Female

40.7%

Unknown

4.0%
Ethnicity

White

63.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.7%

French

14.3%

Italian

4.8%

Portuguese

4.8%

Chinese

4.8%

German

4.8%

Mandarin

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Russian

3.2%

Swedish

1.6%

Zulu

1.6%

Ukrainian

1.6%

Yoruba

1.6%

Greek

1.6%

Carrier

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Serbian

1.6%

Malayalam

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Czech

1.6%
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Contracts Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.1%

George Washington University

12.0%

Villanova University

8.3%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

6.0%

New York University

5.1%

American University

4.6%

Webster University

4.1%

Regis University

4.1%

Northeastern University

4.1%

University of Southern California

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

University of Alabama

3.2%

College of William and Mary

3.2%

Michigan State University

3.2%

University of Florida

3.2%

University of Virginia

3.2%

Capital University

2.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.8%

Temple University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

38.7%

Law

12.0%

Management

7.4%

Accounting

6.3%

Finance

5.9%

Political Science

4.1%

Marketing

2.9%

Human Resources Management

2.5%

Psychology

2.3%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.1%

Project Management

1.8%

Legal Support Services

1.8%

Communication

1.7%

Public Administration

1.6%

Nursing

1.5%

Education

1.5%

English

1.3%

Supply Chain Management

1.3%

Computer Science

1.2%
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Degrees

Masters

37.4%

Bachelors

30.5%

Other

14.9%

Doctorate

10.3%

Certificate

3.1%

Associate

3.1%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.3%
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Real Contracts Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director-New Build Feed & Contracting Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. Houston, TX Sep 26, 2014 $265,000
Provider Contracting Director Cigna Lina Wilmington, DE Sep 20, 2016 $177,660
Legal and Contracts Director Contract Optimization Services, Inc. Cupertino, CA Dec 28, 2010 $155,750
Director-Contract Compliance Services Connor Consulting Corp. San Francisco, CA Apr 01, 2014 $150,000 -
$170,000
Director of Finance, Contract Manufacturing Organization Genzyme Corporation Westborough, MA Nov 25, 2014 $149,000
Director of Finance, Contract Manufacturing Organization Genzyme Corporation Westborough, MA Dec 01, 2014 $149,000
Director of Finance, Contract Manufacturing Organization (Industrial Operations) Genzyme Corporation Framingham, MA Jul 24, 2015 $145,860
Contracts Director Airbus Americas Sales, Inc. Herndon, VA Sep 19, 2014 $141,793
Director of Contracting The Sol Group Corporation Miami, FL Oct 01, 2011 $130,000
Director Accounting & Contracts Peaxy, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 19, 2015 $127,275 -
$150,000
Director-Contract Compliance & COE American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. New York, NY Feb 23, 2015 $125,000
Contracts Director Airbus Americas Sales, Inc. Herndon, VA Sep 19, 2011 $108,784 -
$135,000
Director of Contracts, Bids and Warranties Designline USA, LLC Charlotte, NC Sep 15, 2013 $107,806 -
$120,000
Director, Grants & Contracts, Federal Grants Teach for America New York, NY Dec 01, 2014 $85,000

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Top Skills for A Contracts Director

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  1. Contract Negotiations
  2. Proposals
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Research, development and implementation of services and products of indigenous populations with follow-up and contract negotiations with donors.
  • Provide analysis of solicitations, assure that proposals are prepared and presented that meet company objectives and requirements and customer requirements.
  • Developed and implemented policies, processes and procedures to support corrective actions necessary to ensure statutory and regulatory compliance.
  • Monitored operations, including interim and final financial statements with supporting schedules.
  • Developed Proposal Department responsible for all RFP activity.

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