Contract Manager: Job Duties and Requirements for a Career in Contract MGMT
Entry into the Contract Management field requires a bachelor's degree in business. Mid- and senior-level Contract Managers must be Certified Commercial Contracts Managers (CCCM) or Certified Federal Contracts Managers (CFCM). Related careers include acquisition management and purchase management.
Career Definition: Contract Manager
Contract Managers, also referred to as contract administrators, are responsible for preparing and reviewing business contracts for the purchase or sale of materials and services. Contract professionals analyze bids and proposals and ensure that the specifications of binding agreements with customers, vendors and employees are legal and comply with company policy. In 2007, more than half of all Contract Managers were employed by a government contractor and more than a quarter worked for the federal government, according to the National Contract Management Association (ncmahq.org).
How to Become a Contract Manager
Education Required for a Career in Contract Management
Applicants for entry-level contract management positions should have a bachelor's degree in a business field and 2-3 years of contract-related experience. Applicants with degrees in business law and business administration are particularly desirable. Mid- and senior-level Contract Managers must be Certified Commercial Contracts Managers (CCCM) or Certified Federal Contracts Managers (CFCM). These certifications are awarded by the National Contract Management Association to contract professionals who pass relevant exams and meet the minimum working experience requirements.
Required Skills for a Career in Contract Management
Knowledge of contracting concepts and contract acquisition law and regulations are essential for any career in contract management. Strong communication and negotiation skills are also desirable. Undergraduate courses in economics, negotiations, business management, finance, business law and contract law help hone these skills. Mid- and senior-level Contract Managers must also possess strong leadership traits and be competent managers and trainers.
Economic Outlook for Contract Management
According to Salary.com the median 50% of Contract Managers earn on average between $83,000 and $160,000 annually. A 2007 survey by the National Contract Management Association placed the national average at $85,800. The survey found that salary increased with education level and years worked in the Contract Management field.
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