Contract Administrator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: January 10, 2022

A Contract Administrator, or Contract Specialist, manages and reviews business contracts for financial agreements like company purchases, rental agreements, new hire contracts and business proposals. Their duties include negotiating contract terms and conditions with each party, analyzing potential risks involved with certain contract agreements and helping employees and leadership better understand the information outlined in the contracts.

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Contract Administrator duties and responsibilities

Day-to-day duties and responsibilities of the Contract Administrator may vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. Some general responsibilities in this role include:

  • Take sufficient steps to minimize project risks
  • Liaise with and support the Project Manager to ensure the project is executed safely and properly
  • Ensure compliance with the company’s work health and safety policies, standards and procedures
  • Prepare monthly project reports and make presentations at meetings
  • Support negotiations of claims, manage contractual changes and resolve disputes or conflict resolution with Contractors
  • Assess and prepare claims from suppliers
  • Ensure project members use the contract correctly
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What does a Contract Administrator do?

Contract Administrators handle all contracts for a company to ensure employees and executives understand the terms they agree to. They work with leadership and the human resources department to establish the company’s goals and ensure each contract meets these objectives and conforms to legislative requirements. 

Contract Administrators aim to reduce costs and increase profits while complying with the law, so they work to ensure each contract follows those standards. They also stay updated on any legislative changes to make sure all contracts are compliant.

Contract Administrator skills and qualifications

A Contract Administrator should demonstrate high levels of integrity and accountability. Candidates interested in a Contract Administrator position should the following skills and qualifications:

  • Fundamental knowledge of construction techniques, building materials, standards and equipment
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret legal documents, financial reports and technical documents
  • Ability to apply arithmetic concepts such as fractions, ratios and proportions to real scenarios
  • Basic understanding of purchasing and supply chain procedures
  • Proficiency in common office applications
  • Good understanding of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and occupational, safety and environmental regulations and law
  • Time management and problem-solving skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills

Contract Administrator salary expectations

The average salary for a Contract Administrator is $71,485 per year. This exact amount may vary depending on geographical location, experience level and education. Profit sharing compensation averages $3,000 per year. The typical tenure for this role is two to four years.

Contract Administrator education and training

Job seekers applying for the position of a Contract Administrator should have a bachelor’s degree in contract management, business management or related fields. Strong candidates usually have a professional certification through the National Contract Management Association, particularly the Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM) certification. Any other relevant certification is an added advantage.

Contract Administrator experience requirements

Applications should usually have at least 3 years of work experience as a Contract Manager or in another contracting role. Since this is an important position, the candidate should have experience working in construction sites or engineering projects. The candidate should also have experience in applying organizational standards when requesting and evaluating requests for proposals (RFPs). Candidates with experience working on mid-tier development projects (commercial or residential) over $5 million could be more competitive. 

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Frequently asked questions about Contract Administrators

 

What's the difference between a Contract Administrator and a Contract Manager?

Though both of these positions hold similar responsibilities and some people use these job titles interchangeably, most companies hire Contract Administrators and Contract Managers to complete different tasks. Typically, Contract Administrators handle the planning and preparation of company contracts. They often review newly proposed contracts to determine if they’re the best option for the company to pursue. 

Contract Managers work primarily with current contracts to determine if they should renew it and decide which updates to add to remain compliant. Larger companies with numerous contracts often hire both a Contract Manager and Administrator, while others may only hire one to handle the responsibilities of both roles. 

 

Do Contract Administrators have different responsibilities in different industries?

Contract Administrators usually hold similar responsibilities of reviewing contracts for each industry they work in, but some duties may vary depending on their work setting. Some Contract Administrators may work for the construction industry building contracts that state the workers can build in certain areas and are following city regulations.

Other Contract Administrators work for sports teams, creating and negotiating terms for certain players to sign on to different teams. They can also work for the government, building contracts for certain grants the local, state or federal government gives or receives.  

 

What makes a good Contract Administrator?

Effective Contract Administrators have extensive knowledge of different legislative requirements and terms of use to keep their organization from any legal issues. They should also have strong attention to detail to catch any errors or potential issues in contracts that could lead to any company risks. 

Since they’re often looking at legal contracts for hours at a time, good Contract Administrator candidates should have impressive focus. It’s also best if they have financial and budget-building experience, as their contract terms must fall within the company’s budget and reduce costs. 

 

Who does a Contract Administrator report to?

The person a Contract Administrator reports to usually depends on the company they work for. If they work in a larger office that deals with many contracts, they may work on a team of Contract Administrators who all report to the Contract Administrator Supervisor. 

This individual usually oversees the contract creation and negotiation process and delegates different contracts to specific Contract Administrators. If they work for a smaller company, they may report directly to a senior-level employee like the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Financial Officer.

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