What Does a Contract Administrator Do?
Contract administrators specialize in developing, negotiating, reviewing, and managing contracts for an organization. They specialize in arranging agreements between parties. A contract administrator must also interpret the terms of contracts between the organization and its vendors and partners, and make sure both sides are fulfilling the terms of the agreement.
A contract administrator needs to be able to interpret complex technical language and communicate the terms of the contracts they draft. They also must ensure that contracts follow federal, state, and local laws.
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National Average Salary
Contract administrator salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Contract Administrator is:
Contract Administrator Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great contract administrator is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
Contract administrators manage business contracts for organizations. They review each contract and ensure they meet objectives and conform to legislative requirements. Contract administrators need to have excellent verbal and written communication skills and a high level of integrity and accountability. [Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced contract administrator to take our business to new levels. As an ideal candidate, you have experience in managing contract creation, execution, and analysis, maximizing financial and operational performance, and minimizing risk.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Discuss the proposed terms of a contract with potential partners and vendors
- Draft contracts
- Review proposed contracts
- Interpret terms of a contract
- Routinely review contracts to ensure both sides are meeting the terms
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting or pre-law. However, employers prefer that candidates have a master’s degree in business administration and coursework in business or contract law.
Required skills and qualifications
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Knowledge of federal and state contract laws and regulations
- Research skills
- Analytical thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Organization and time management skills
- Manage the Contract Administrator team
- Coordinate with Legal, Business Development, Finance, Accounting, and Product Divisions to identify and manage contracts with clients from draft through execution
- Ensure that an effective contract management process is in place, and maintain and further develop methodology to document and track existing contracts
- Provide advice and guidance internally on contract negotiation and actively participate in resolution
- Oversee the preparation and revision of contracts
- Participate in the deal desk review process and guide contracts through our internal process and work collaboratively to expedite client signing
- Negotiate business terms and conditions in contracts
- Maintain an audit file for each contract which will include original contract, all correspondence, changes/deviations, amendments, clarifications, cancellations, etc.
- Prepare and disseminate information to appropriate employees regarding contract status
- Facilitate meetings on contractual matters
- Support Sales in the response and resolution of contract queries and issues with clients
- Work with various departments to obtain the necessary contract inputs
- Integrate contract inputs and assemblage of the appropriate documents
- Maintain other related documents and records for the company (e.g., insurance, company policies, etc.)
- Ensure contract execution in accordance with business specifications and company policies and procedures
- Training for Sales on creation and modification of contracts, including weekly contract tips
- Provide administrative support to Legal and Sales Operations teams
- Coordinate with Accounting on various matters that may relate to contract issues
- Identify opportunities for contract process improvements and system enhancements
- Actively pursue continuing contracts education opportunities to remain abreast of industry trends and changes to contracting laws, regulations and practices
- Work with executives on special projects from time to time
- Gather and disseminate data on certain company policies and procedures, including assist with third party due diligence requests and RFP document and policy requests
- Track authorizations and correspondence
The ideal candidate must have working knowledge of federal procurement regulations and policies and must be able to quickly grasp procurement terms, methodologies, and processes, and associated electronic documentation.
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of contracts and/or subcontracts closeout requirements by supporting tasks for closing out simple to complex contracts in accordance with FAR 4.804-5
- Responsible for preparing internal closeout packages and ensuring submission of all additional required forms are complete, accurate and ready for development of the final release of claim forms for submission to the customer, whether the U.S. Government or other Federal Contractors
- Responsible for preparing subcontractor closeout packages to solicit final release of claims from subcontractors and adhering to procedures for subcontracts closeout
- Review subcontract agreement/purchase order documentation, project and financial reports to determine possible subcontractor trailing costs and confirm final delivery of services and/or deliverables
- Review all final compiled subcontract closeout documentation and confirm compliance with subcontractor closeout checklist
- Collaborate with Billing Specialists to identify pending subcontractor final invoices or credits as related to contract closeout efforts
- Responsible for ensuring that Closeout SharePoint sites is properly populated and updated in accordance with corporate policy
- Further responsible for ensuring closeout documentation is in compliance with electronic filing procedures
- Knowledge and experience of contract types to include Fixed Price (FFP), Labor Hour (LH), Time and Materials (T&M) and Cost Reimbursable (Cost)
- Perform contract closeout activities which include the reconciliation of supporting documents
- Provide internal and external customer service, answer telephones, enter information/data into the computer, and prepare correspondence and other documents related to contract administration
- Perform other data entry and administrative tasks as needed (e.g., copying, filing, populating spreadsheets, databases, etc.)
- Have proficiency in Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
- Possess the ability to work independently with minimal training and oversight
- Support the maintenance of Contract’s systems & tools, participate in status monitoring, and quality assurance tasks in support of Contract Operations duties
- Metrics, Reporting & Analytics, that includes retrieving reports from Unison CLM systems, drafting a pivot table within each TAB to organize data, gathering relevant information, follow-up and uploading updated data
- Assist in special projects assigned by the Contracts Operations Management
- Requires 5 to 8 years experience with BS/BA or 3 to 5 years with MS/MA or 0 to 2 years with PhD
- Experience providing administrative support services to include organizing, prioritizing, and completing multiple tasks in a specified timeframe required
- Experience in data entry on electronic systems (including automated procurement systems, a variety of computer software applications, and office automation keyboarding/typing skills)
- Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university/college in a Business or Business Management field preferred
- 3-5 years’ experience in full lifecycle contract management and administration
- Ability to follow direction and work independently with limited supervision
- Self-starter and effective communicator that has in depth knowledge of new and emerging regulations, and keeps the pulse on all guidance, memorandums and directives from major regulatory and/or contractual agencies
These skills along with a diverse knowledge of the industry and a client-focused approach, ensures the contract administrator will successfully meet the needs of our clients and partners
- Assist with the management of multiple construction projects simultaneously from the bid process, through job start, job tracking, and close-out
- Supports Project Manager with the execution of the project from start to finish
- Manage the job invoices and billing for the assigned projects
- Act as the Subcontractor liaison for contracts, invoicing, submittals, and project close out
- Manages all aspects of bid and plan distribution including organizing, submittal, follow-up, and storage
- Creates, organizes and distributes Project Close Out Manuals
- Set up, maintain, and track project files
- 2-3 years of experience as a construction related Contract Administrator or in a related position is required
- Knowledgeable regarding reading and understanding blueprints and construction plans is a plus but not required
- Personable with the ability to work in a cross-functional, collaborative, team-based environment and work and communicate well with Project Managers, Subcontractors, Clients, other Team Members and Leadership
- Ability to learn quickly, adapt and flex in response to competing business demands and changing priorities
- Highly Motivated and proactive in addressing challenges and opportunities
- Comfortable making decisions with little to no supervision
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM). This certification is managed by the National Contract Management Association and provides candidates with a deep understanding of the terminology, practices, policies, and processes used in contract management. A bachelor’s degree and 5 years of related experience are required to sit for the exam. A passing score of 72.2% is needed to earn certification.
- Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM). The CFCM demonstrates a candidate’s knowledge and skills in federal contract management. To be eligible for the exams, they are required to have a bachelor’s degree, with 24 hours of coursework in business management topics, 2 years of experience in contract management or a related field, and 120 hours of continuing professional education, at least 40 of which are specific to federal contracts management. Candidates must pass the Business Knowledge and Federal Knowledge exams to earn the CFCM credential.
Sample Interview Questions
- What is the role of a contract administrator?
- What steps do you take if you spot an error on a contract that the company has been using?
- How do you ensure the confidentiality of digital and physical contracts?
- What are the top skills that a contract administrator needs?
- How proficient are you in detecting errors and inconsistencies in contracts?
- What would you do if an employee or partner does not honor a contract agreement?
- What is the best way to organize the physical records of contracts?
- How do you file contract updates?
- How do you track deadlines to ensure you don’t miss them?
- What are the most common mistakes a contract administrator makes and how would you avoid them?
- Can you describe a recent contract you worked on that demonstrates your negotiation skills?
- How do you prioritize your workload?
- How experienced are you at negotiating contract terms?
- How do you keep track of various versions and updates of contracts?
- How would you monitor the future expenses of a contract?
- How do you work with large volumes of information?
- How do you stay up-to-date with legislative changes?
- Have you ever missed a deadline? If so, why did you miss it and how did you resolve the issue?