The 2010 Contract Management Salary Survey published by the NCMA reports that almost half of all contract management professionals earn $100,000 or more in total compensation (including base pay and bonus). Individuals working for the federal government or government contractors often enjoy salaries approaching the $120,000 mark.
In addition to substantial base pay, nearly 60% of all survey respondents were eligible for an annual bonus, with a median bonus of $4,500. About 28% of bonus recipients were granted an annual bonus of $10,000 or higher, while the top 10% had a bonus of $30,000 or more.
The NCMA survey also indicated that earnings can be significantly impacted by education and certification. The results showed that while non-certified professionals earn a median salary of $85,000 per year, those with certification can earn much more. In fact, individuals who hold the Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) credential earn a median annual salary of $100,000, while those with the Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) designation have a median salary of around $125,000.
Incomes tend to increase with experience and positions of greater responsibility. According to the NCMA survey, managers have a median annual salary of $120,000, while executives have a median income of $156,000.
Based on the NCMA survey findings, it’s clear that the best federal contract manager jobs are likely to go to experienced professionals with industry certification and specialized training.
Federal contract manager jobs have different education and training requirements according to specific role, industry and employer. Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree, although some companies and government agencies may accept a two-year degree and relevant experience. Some federal contract management professionals go on to earn master’s or doctorate degrees. For example, contract attorneys typically hold a Juris Doctor (JD).
The path to a federal contract manager job can begin with a relevant bachelor’s degree and continue with specialized government contract management training. A bachelor’s degree in business administration, management, finance or other related field is generally accepted by most employers. Specialized training can be obtained through professional education programs.
In addition, many employers prefer to hire candidates who hold NCMA certification. While the Certified Commercial Contracts Manager (CCCM) designation is often deemed acceptable, some employers favor applicants with Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) or Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) credentials.
To develop the critical skills required for senior government contract manager jobs and prepare for the rigorous NCMA certification exams, many professionals enroll in continuing professional education – such as the 100% online master certificate programs available from Villanova University.
Professionals who complete Villanova’s Master Certificate in Government Agile Contract Management have the knowledge and skills to:
The master certificate program consists of three courses. Students may earn valuable professional development units (PDUs) and continuing education units (CEUs) upon completion of each course, in addition to a handsomely framed certificate of achievement from Villanova University.
Government Executive reported that top federal officials identified a shortage of federal acquisition employees as a significant challenge when disbursing economic stimulus plan funds efficiently and responsibly.1 In fact, Congress Daily stated that billions of dollars are being wasted due to a surge of government contracts being handled by an understaffed, poorly trained contracting workforce.2
These reports demonstrate that there are outstanding career opportunities for those with the right skills and credentials. To fulfill the requirements outlined in a typical federal contract manager job description, you’ll need strong negotiation abilities and broad knowledge of the federal contract management process. Industry certification can also provide a competitive edge.
When you earn a Master Certificate in Government Agile Contract Management from Villanova, you’ll not only prepare to achieve industry certification, but you’ll develop the practical skills and in-depth knowledge to successfully compete for the best federal contract manager jobs.
1 Newell, Elizabeth. “Acquisition workforce looms large at initial stimulus meeting.” GovernmentExecutive.com, February 25, 2009.
2 Kreisher, Otto. “Pentagon IG details waste in military contracts.” Congress Daily, February 27, 2009.