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Careers in Contract Management

Contract management can be described as a field that focuses upon the development and implementation of contracts. This area has gained significant demand in recent years. Many federal, private, non-profit organizations seek qualified contract managers that can work on their behalf and draft contracts for external as well as internal use. Technology, globalization, and expanding markets have revolutionized business operations and functions. Now organizations are required to coordinate with many different clients for supply and purchase of material, goods, services, and more.

The scope of contract management is not only limited to drafting contracts, but also includes risk mitigation, and working for organizational process. Since every client to a contract will seek to have his or her interest protected, contract managers will devise contracts accordingly.

Contract Management Educational Requirements

Contract management is now being offered as a separate academic principle at schools. Students interested in joining this growing profession can prepare themselves with the help of contract management degrees and certification. If you are interested in pursuing a career in contract management you should have a background in business, or a combination of business and law, or other related fields. These programs enable students to develop necessary skills and knowledge. Some of the main programs being offered in contract management are:

  • Associate degree in contract management
  • Bachelor degree in contract management
  • Masters degree in contract management
  • Certification in contract management
  • Diploma in contract management

Furthermore, certification from a renowned board like the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) can help advance your career.

    Skills Developed
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Writing skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Risk management skills
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Analysis skills

Careers in Contract Management

There are a number of professions that fall within the category of contract management. According to a research conducted by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), the demand for contract management professionals has increased. These professionals can be found working for large organizations and the federal government. Over 80% of all employed contract managers hold at least a bachelor degree or a masters degree. This reflects the need for specialized education in the field.

With a bachelor-level degree, individuals can look forward to entry-level jobs in various organizations. On the other hand, a masters degree will help one pursue managerial and high paying jobs. Careers in contract management can be challenging and diverse in many ways. Professionals must have strong communication skills as they are most likely to interact with different clients for contract purposes.

Job Positions in the industry

There are many different job positions that one can apply for with a degree in contract management. Listed below are few main career options along with details:

Acquisition Specialist

Acquisition can be defined as the process of obtaining goods or services. Acquisition specialists are professionals who make sure organizations acquire resources or services they need in an affordable and effective manner through contracts.

Job Duties:

  • Formulate strategies for acquiring materials
  • Align contractual goals with organizational objectives
  • Search and select reliable suppliers
  • Negotiate terms of agreement if necessary
  • Seek cost-effective strategies

Work settings:

Acquisition specialists can be found working in all kinds of private and federal firms.

Contracting Specialist

Contracting can be defined as drafting contracts for different clients. A contracting specialist basically is responsible for contract assignments.

Job duties:

  • Solicit bids for procurement
  • Negotiate terms and conditions for contracts
  • Analyze contracts
  • Use various contracting processes and methods
  • Analyze pricing strategies

Work settings:

Private, non-profit, manufacturing, and federal organizations typically require the services of contracting specialists.

Purchasing Managers

These professionals are responsible for purchasing materials, services, and products for a firm.

Job duties:

  • Negotiate on behalf of companies
  • Direct and coordinate activities related to purchasing
  • Locate and contact vendors and suppliers
  • Purchase orders and establish terms for sale
  • Draft contracts for suppliers
  • Choose delivery systems

Work settings:

A majority of purchase managers are employed by manufacturing industries. However, various private and federal companies also require the services of these professionals.

Median annual wage: $103,780 (O Net Online)

Contracts Administrator

Job duties:

  • Manage the contract approval process
  • Design and implement contract templates
  • Generate reports on demand
  • Support users
  • Report on upcoming contracts

Work settings:

Contract administrators are hired by all kinds of services, retail, and manufacturing firms that fall in the sector of private and public enterprises.

Pricing Analyst

Pricing analysts help organizations make optimal pricing decisions.

Job duties:

  • Analyze pricing strategies
  • Work with other departments to choose the best pricing strategies
  • Monitor and update pricing trends
  • Prepare reports on-demand
  • Using different pricing analysis techniques
  • Negotiate prices with suppliers and clients

Work settings:

These professionals can seek employment in a range of industries (federal and private).

Administrative services managers

These professionals plan and coordinate supportive services

Job duties:

  • Manage supplies
  • Supervise subordinate personnel
  • Manage and maintain records
  • Oversee the maintenance of supplies
  • Plan and manage contracts

Work settings:

These managers are employed by all kinds of firms such as healthcare institutes, banking firms, educational institutes, federal agencies, and manufacturing firms.

Median annual wage: $81,080 (Bureau of Labor and Statistics - 2012)

The income level for most job positions is determined by factors such as company, state, level of education, certification, and skill.

Certification and Career Advancement

The field of contract management offers many opportunities for growth. Individuals can gradually build their profile and move up. There are many certifications available that can help improve the employment prospects for individuals. It is always recommended that individuals constantly upgrade their skills through certification and qualify for better job positions. The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) offers many certifications in this area. A few include:

  • Certified Commercial Contracts Manager Certification (CCCM)
  • Certified Federal Contracts Manager Certification (CFCM)

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Degree in Contract Management?

The University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Berkeley and many others offer various degrees in Contract Management. For instance, these universities offer a 1 to 2-year associate's degree, a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 2-year master’s degree and a 3 to 5-year doctoral degree in Contract Management. These degrees are often offered as full/part-time on-campus or online programs.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a Degree in Contract Management?

The requirements to complete a degree in Contract Management depend on the type of selected degree and institute. For example, a bachelor’s degree in Government Contracting and Acquisition from American Military University requires students to complete 120 credit hours of coursework to graduate. On the other hand, students of a master’s degree in Acquisition and Contract Management from Bellevue University must complete 36 credit hours to graduate.

How Much Can I Make after Completing a Degree in Contract Management?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents earned an annual median salary of $67,600 whereas Financial Analysts had a median income of $85,660 per year and Administrative Services Managers made $96,180 per year.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What career in contract management can I pursue?

A:There is huge potential for students who are interested in pursuing a career in contract management. Some of the careers students with contract management qualification can pursue are Contracting Specialist, Pricing Analyst, Contracts Administrator, Procurement Agent and Contract/Subcontract Specialist. These professionals can find themselves working in a number of industries particularly the retail industry.

Q:What are careers in contract management about?

A:Contract managers can be found working in diverse industries. Their main job duties include designing and drafting contracts, maintaining contractual records, providing guidance and help to parties in a contract, ensuring the validity of a contract and legal enforcement, and monitoring compliance of all parties. Browse through our page for more detail.

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