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Become A Contracts Manager

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Working As A Contracts Manager

  • 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

  • $98,954

    Average Salary

What Does A Contracts Manager 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 Manager

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 Manager Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Contracts Manager 4.0 years
Contracts Director 3.5 years
Lead Contractor 2.7 years
Contract Analyst 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Manager 5.0%
Buyer 4.1%
Consultant 4.1%
Paralegal 3.1%
Internship 2.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.0%
Manager 5.4%
Director 3.5%
Owner 3.4%

Do you work as a Contracts Manager?

Contracts Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

51.3%

Female

46.5%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.5%

French

12.4%

Portuguese

6.3%

German

5.7%

Russian

4.9%

Italian

4.0%

Chinese

4.0%

Arabic

2.9%

Mandarin

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Hindi

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Swedish

0.9%

Turkish

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%

Dakota

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Romanian

0.6%
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Contracts Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.2%

George Washington University

10.2%

Villanova University

8.8%

Strayer University

6.2%

Webster University

5.5%

Michigan State University

4.4%

University of Maryland - University College

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

Florida State University

3.8%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.4%

Temple University

3.2%

University of Houston

3.2%

American University

3.2%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.1%

DePaul University

3.1%

George Mason University

3.1%

Suffolk University

3.1%

Florida International University

2.9%

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

2.8%
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Majors

Business

38.2%

Law

12.2%

Management

7.5%

Finance

5.1%

Accounting

4.7%

Political Science

4.4%

Marketing

3.1%

Project Management

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.4%

Psychology

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.0%

Education

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.8%

Public Administration

1.8%

Human Resources Management

1.6%

Supply Chain Management

1.6%

Computer Science

1.4%

Economics

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.3%

Masters

29.4%

Other

15.8%

Doctorate

9.6%

Certificate

5.1%

Associate

5.1%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.2%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Contracts Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Contracts Manager DAL Sterling Group International Inc. Houston, TX Dec 01, 2011 $300,000
Corporate Contracts Manager Chiyoda International Corporation Houston, TX Oct 27, 2015 $240,000
Corporate Contracts Manager Chiyoda International Corporation Houston, TX Oct 22, 2015 $240,000
Contracts Manager Swift Technical Services, LLC Houston, TX Sep 20, 2011 $202,022
Manager Contracts McDermott, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 08, 2015 $180,000
Midstream Contract Manager BG North America, LLC Houston, TX May 04, 2011 $175,000 -
$230,000
Prime Contracts Manager Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation Vienna, VA Feb 15, 2013 $172,968
Prime Contracts Manager Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation Vienna, VA Feb 14, 2011 $157,000
Prime Contracts Manager Bechtel Construction Operations Inc. Vienna, VA Mar 07, 2011 $157,000
Civil Contracts Manager Smithbridge GUAM Inc. Dec 31, 2014 $150,000
Civil Contracts Manager Smithbridge GUAM Inc. Jun 15, 2014 $150,000
Contracts Manager Precision Drilling Company, LP Denver, CO Sep 22, 2016 $148,600
Contract Manager Aoki Holdings N.Y. Inc. New York, NY Mar 01, 2014 $146,090
Field Contracts Manager Bechtel Power Corporation Tipton, CA Apr 26, 2013 $110,160 -
$140,865
Contracts Manager Secret Escapes, LLC New York, NY Apr 01, 2016 $110,000
Contracts Manager Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation Frederick, MD Apr 04, 2016 $108,514 -
$176,280
Contracts Manager Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation Frederick, MD Dec 08, 2016 $108,514 -
$176,280
Contracting Manager, IT Fireman's Fund Insurance Company Novato, CA Jun 26, 2014 $108,042
Contract Manager Bechtel Communications, Inc. San Ramon, CA Oct 01, 2011 $108,000
Bilingual Contract Manager T.D. Williamson, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 14, 2011 $106,579
Manager-Contract Manufacturing Mattel HQ, Inc. El Segundo, CA Apr 29, 2016 $106,330
Contracts Manager Honeywell International Inc. Tempe, AZ Oct 09, 2016 $86,331
Contract Manager Object Reservoir, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 19, 2012 $86,000
Contracts Manager IHI E&C International Corporation Houston, TX Jul 11, 2016 $85,613 -
$121,926
Legal and Contract Manager Ipsoft Incorporated New York, NY Aug 24, 2016 $85,000
Procurement Contracts Manager NRG Energy, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ Aug 29, 2016 $85,000
Contract Manager Partners Healthcare Boston, MA Sep 08, 2012 $84,683
Contract Manager Honeywell International Inc. Houston, TX Sep 30, 2011 $82,820

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Top Skills for A Contracts Manager

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  1. Contract Negotiations
  2. Proposals
  3. Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created, managed and trained staff members on standard contract negotiations, vendor approval and procurement procedures to maintain organizational objectives.
  • Determine and document consultant responsiveness and qualification for Letters of Response, Technical Proposals and required forms.
  • Performed periodic business reviews with contracted suppliers, maintaining open channels of communication regarding contract performance, compliance and additional opportunities.
  • Participate in development of business unit procedures and guidelines and coordinate global implementation, training and policy compliance issues.
  • Analyze financial statements and gather supporting documents to calculate networking capital standard for new and existing dealers.

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Top 10 Best States for Contracts Managers

  1. Colorado
  2. Maryland
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Washington
  5. New Jersey
  6. Texas
  7. Rhode Island
  8. New Hampshire
  9. California
  10. Delaware
  • (117 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (136 jobs)
  • (101 jobs)
  • (342 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (681 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)

Top Contracts Manager Employers

Jobs From Top Contracts Manager Employers

Contracts Manager Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Contracts Manager by Iris J (Full Version)

Minimising Risk Through Good Contracts Management Practices

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