Contract management jobs are commonly found in industries like healthcare, aerospace, information technology, engineering and construction, as well as many government agencies. Contract managers negotiate and facilitate formal sales and purchase agreements, and their work involves such activities as preparing requests for proposals (RFPs), reviewing responses and managing the contractor selection process. A contract management certificate program can provide the advanced training necessary to prepare for National Contract Management Association (NCMA) certification and secure the best contract management jobs.
According to the 2013 Contract Management Salary Survey published by the NCMA, nearly half of all contract management professionals earn $96,000 or more in total compensation (including base pay and bonus). The top 11% enjoy an annual salary in excess of $150,000.
In addition, nearly 60% of survey respondents were eligible for an annual bonus, with more than 25% of them earning a five-figure bonus:
Factors such as education and certification can have a dramatic impact on earnings. For example, while the NCMA survey found that non-certified professionals earn a median salary of $89,000 per year, those with certification can earn substantially more. In fact, individuals who hold Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) certification earn a minimum salary of $100,000 per year.
The NCMA survey also found that salary increases with experience and with positions of greater responsibility. To illustrate that point, consider the median annual salaries for these management roles:
As the research shows, the best contract management jobs go to professionals with extensive experience, specialized training and industry certification.
For both commercial and government contract management jobs, typical responsibilities include reviewing everything from simple proposals to complex agreements, identifying risks, drafting contract terms and conditions, and advising management on contract administration issues throughout the bidding process.
Other duties of contract management professionals include preparing RFPs, and conducting contract review and analysis in cooperation with finance managers, project managers, and insurance, legal and tax advisors. Contract managers may also work with procurement staff, subcontractors, suppliers, and marketing and sales departments to ensure compliance with applicable regulations as well as contract terms and conditions.
Reporting and following up on the administration of contracts is another important aspect of contract management jobs. Contract managers may also conduct research in support of contract audits. Many contract management professionals are responsible for executing agreements and ensuring the terms of a contract are adhered to at each stage of the process – as these activities can have a direct impact on a business’s bottom line.
In addition to these general contract management job duties, some responsibilities will vary by role. For example, contract negotiators work to achieve the best possible deal on behalf of their employer or client, thereby maximizing the value of the agreement. Contract attorneys help draft formal legal documents to ensure the contract will hold up in a court of law, and they may also provide litigation assistance.