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Contract Manager Job Description

Contract Manager Job Description

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Last Updated September 19, 2023

Who Works in Contract Management?

Professional contract managers can come from all backgrounds and walks of life, according to the 2018 National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Contract Management Salary Survey. Based on the responses from 2,121 full-time U.S. based respondents, 56% of contract managers are female, and the median age of contract mangers is 47, with 43% of professionals falling into the 50-to-60 or older age group.

Almost all of those working in contract management (92%) hold at least a bachelor’s degree, while a small percentage (3%) hold an associate degree. In terms of experience, 14% have worked in contract management for less than five years, 22% have worked in the field between five and nine years, 34% have served as contract managers for 10 to 19 years, and 29% have contract management careers spanning more than two decades.

Where Are Contract Management Careers Found?

While contract managers can work in many industries, the majority of NCMA survey respondents work for or in the government sector. Commercial business/government contractors employ 63% of contract management professionals, 22% work directly for the federal government and 4% work for state or local government agencies. The remainder work in professional services, academia, the military, nonprofit, or other fields. Nearly half of all respondents – 44% – work for large organizations with annual revenue or budgets that total $501 million or more.

How Much Do Contract Managers Make?

Annual salary potential for contract managers can vary by experience, certification, location, education, employer and other factors. In general, the median starting salary for contract managers is approximately $50,000, with 21% of respondents in the $40,000-$49,000 range. Earning potential rises significantly for contract managers with at least five years of experience, with the average annual salary jumping to $90,000 for those with five to nine years of experience, and more than $100,000 for 10 years or more of experience. The highest salary potential tends to correspond with industry certification, and professionals with Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM) certification are the highest earners, with a median salary of $124,000. Overall, 57% of respondents hold one or more professional contract management certifications.

Position Yourself for Career Advancement Opportunities

If you’re looking to establish or advance your contract management career potential, consider the Certificate in Contract Management program offered 100% online by Villanova University. Encompassing three courses, the program covers essential concepts and strategies in the field of contract management – and the curriculum is designed to help prepare you for the Certified Commercial Contract Manager (CCCM), Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM) or Certified Federal Contract Manager (CFCM) certification exams offered by NCMA.

Villanova’s certificate program allows you to:

  • Complete lessons, assignments and exams 100% online
  • Communicate with instructors and fellow students via virtual whiteboards, online message boards, live chat rooms, email and two-way voice over IP (VOIP)
  • Participate in live weekly interactive sessions and live lectures
  • Prepare to earn NCMA certification as a CCCM, CFCM or CPCM

With Villanova credentials and industry certification, you can demonstrate dedication to your work and mastery of the subject matter to current and prospective employers and position yourself for the advancement opportunities in the contract management career field.

National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Certificate program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.