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How to Become a Contract Administrator

How to Become a Contract Administrator

A typewriter with a piece of paper with the word "contract" typed out on it. administrator

Last Updated March 8, 2024

To pursue a career as a contract administrator, individuals should understand the high level of accountability and responsibility that typically accompanies the role. The overall requirements of a contract administrator generally include the following:

  1. Attention to detail and the ability to spot errors and inconsistencies
  2. Excellent reading and language comprehension
  3. Ability to work with a team at all levels of an organization
  4. Effective ability to negotiate and execute contracts
  5. Proven management and leadership skills
  6. Exceptional communication skills (oral and written)

Typical Roles and Responsibilities

The day-to-day roles and responsibilities of a contract administrator may vary depending on location, type of project and size, and may include duties that are essential to the successful management and execution of contracts on behalf of organizations. Contracts can vary in complexity and type, and can include rental or sale contracts, purchase contracts, employment contracts or contract proposals for new business.

The following is a sample of the fundamental job duties and functions that can apply to contract administration roles within most industries and organizations:

  • Work with different levels of personnel within an organization to analyze and solidify an overall contract strategy
  • Coordinate actions with internal procurement and legal teams if needed
  • Report status of current contract processes to management
  • Resolve any existing contract conflicts
  • Create language standards and rules for existing and new contracts
  • Serve as a liaison between internal and external parties during contract development and negotiation stages
  • Negotiate terms, conditions and pricing, and ensure they are accurately executed and satisfied
  • Follow up to guarantee contractual payments have been made
  • Analyze potential risks that contract changes may pose to the organization

Education, Career Outlook and Salary Potential

While it’s not typically required, it is recommended that professionals interested in contract management obtain a master’s degree in business administration or a related field such as mathematics, economics, or accounting.

Some organizations may also hire candidates with an undergraduate degree including a bachelor’s degree with the same field concentrations, but in most cases, a bachelor’s degree must be accompanied by a significant level of related work experience. In some instances, contract administrators may be required to have a degree in law, or paralegal experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, similar occupations to contract administrators, such as administrative services managers, earned a median annual salary of $96,940 in May 2019. Projections also indicate the field is expected to increase by 6% through 2029, faster than the national average for all occupations. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Certificate and degree program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Prospective students should conduct independent research for specific employment information..

Some organizations hiring for contract administrative positions can include law firms, engineering firms, hospitals, colleges and universities, healthcare facilities, utility companies, insurance companies, financial institutions, construction companies, oil companies and levels of local, state and federal government.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Administrative Services Managers, on the internet at (visited January 5, 2021).