Contract management careers can be very challenging and engaging. They can also be highly lucrative, particularly if you have attained National Contract Management Association (NCMA) certification. There are many different positions available in this field, and you have the opportunity to work with a variety of different organizations and industries. Whether you are a veteran contract manager looking to expand your experience or a relative newcomer interested in learning more about contract management careers, you should familiarize yourself with all of the opportunities available for employment and advancement in this diverse and exciting specialty.
Professional contract managers come from all backgrounds and walks of life, according to a recent contract management salary survey carried out by ReadexResearch on behalf of the NCMA.* Based on the responses of more than 3,500 participants, 56% of contract managers are women, and the median age of contract mangers is 49, with 37% of professionals falling into the 45-to-54 age group.
Almost all of those working in contract management careers have at least some college education, with the vast majority – about 86% – holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, and another 5% holding associate’s degrees. In terms of experience, 19% have worked in contract management for less than five years, 19% have been in the field between five and nine years, 25% have served as contract managers for 10 to 19 years, and 36% have contract management careers spanning more than two decades. In addition, 42% of respondents hold one or more professional contract management certifications.
While contract management careers are available in many industries, the majority of NCMA survey respondents work for or with the government. Government contractors employ 56% of contract management professionals, 23% work directly for the federal government and 3% work for state or local government agencies. Another 9% are in the commercial business, while the remainder work in professional services, academia or other fields. Nearly half of all respondents – 47% – work for large organizations with annual revenue or budgets that total $501 million or more.
Annual salaries for those in project management careers vary by experience, certification, location and other factors. In general, contract managers earn a median salary of $90,000 per year, with 25% of respondents in the $80,000 to $99,000 range and a full 37% earning more than $100,000. The best salaries tend to go to those with industry certification, and professionals with CPCM certification are the highest earners of the lot, with a median salary just under $120,000. In addition, 64% of respondents receive an annual bonus. Of that group, 44% earned a bonus of $1,000 to $4,999, 18% received between $5,000 and $9,999, and 20% reported an annual bonus in excess of $10,000.
If you’re looking to establish or advance a contract management career, consider the Master Certificate in Contract Management programs offered 100% online by Villanova University. By enrolling in one of these programs, you’ll reap the benefits of an expert-led online faculty and a flexible, video-based e-learning platform that’s available 24/7. There’s no better way for working professionals to access high-quality, university-backed training that fits into even the busiest schedules.
Encompassing three online certificate courses, Villanova’s master certificate programs cover essential concepts and strategies in the field of contract management. Depending on your field of interest, you can earn a Master Certificate in Commercial Contract Management or a Master Certificate in Government Contract Management – and you’ll also prepare for the corresponding certification exams offered by the NCMA. Villanova’s certificate courses and master certificate programs allow you to:
With convenient online training, you’ll be able to start applying your new knowledge to your job immediately. You can also be confident in the quality of the education you’ll receive, because Villanova has been ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report in the Master’s category/North region for almost twenty years. With Villanova credentials and industry certification, you’ll demonstrate dedication to your work and mastery of the subject matter to current and prospective employers, and position yourself for the best contract management careers available.
* All statistics in this article were based on the 2008 Contract Management Salary Survey published by the National Contract Management Association in 2009.