When you have a head for detail and legalese, a contract administrator's job might be right up your alley. Besides the need for attention to detail, you must have an understanding of the multiple sections typically found in contracts, the different contract types, contract terminology and insurance documents, as most business and organization contracts cite insurance requirements.
Skills and Experience
Contract administrators require excellent written and verbal communication skills. Besides being able to read and understand complicated contract language, contract administrators need advanced skills working with computers, word processing and spreadsheet programs along with experience in setting up or maintaining a database. Most contract administrators have at least two years of experience in contract administration. Some contract administrators come from an accounting or purchasing background, but many have experience in business administration.
Main duties of contract administration start with contract drafting, review and negotiation. This can include, depending on the company or organization's focus, proposed contracts, bids and employee contract overview. As part of the contract administration job, administrators pick apart a contract's financial objectives or thrust, insurance requirements, scope of work and payment requirements to help a company's leader make important contract decisions.
The administrator often manages both client and vendor contracts. In the case of client contracts, the administrator may work with business professionals in contract negotiations. When dealing with vendor or independent contractor contracts, the contract administrator ensures that vendors and contractors comply with the organization's requirements, such as submitting IRS tax forms, insurance documents, business licenses and any special certifications needed by the organization or company. The contract administrator might also be responsible for generating reports, performing contract audits and business analysis of client or vendor contracts.
Background and Education
Most organizations require contract administrators with a degree in business administration, accounting, engineering, manufacturing or an industry-specific degree. An education that focuses on additional coursework in business analysis, business information systems, accounting methodology, business law and ethics along with business operation and management is helpful to the contract administrator. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that purchasing and administrative managers often handle contract administration as well.
- International Association for Contract & Commercial Management: Frequently Asked Questions
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages May 2012 11-3061 Purchasing Managers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages May 2012 11-3011 Administrative Services Managers
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.