Contract Administrator Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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What are the pros and cons to becoming a contract administrator? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a contract administrator is right for you.
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Pros and Cons: Contract Administrator

Contract administrators are responsible for getting supplies and items from various distributors on behalf of an employer. You can learn about the pros and cons to being a contract administrator by reading below.

PROS: Contract Administrator
Salary is above the national average ($54,188 median annually)**
Opportunity to work in different settings (healthcare, educational services, government, finances, professional services, etc)*
Career advancement opportunities (director positions, etc)*
Work in a comfortable environment*

CONS: Contract Administrator
One in four work more than 50 hours a week*
Negotiating contracts can be stressful*
Traveling from location to location is sometimes required*
Previous work experience is strongly preferred in many cases*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Career Information

Job Description

Supplies and equipment for an organization are acquired by a contract administrator; this may include anything from computers and food to desks and paper clips. You'll ensure the items are properly stored and ready for use. When there is a specific item your company needs, you'll find a vendor and purchase it. When you purchase items, you want to negotiate the best price and deal for your employer in order to save as much money as possible. This involves overseeing contract deals with your suppliers and vendors.

Salary Information

Salary.com in August 2015 listed that contract administrators with less than two years of experience had a median annual income of about $54,188. With two to four years of experience, the salary for this position increased to about $66,000 per year. If you have anywhere between four and six years of experience as a contract administrator, then you could see an income of around $76,000. Finally, contract administrators who have six to eight years of experience had a median salary of roughly $97,000 annually.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), administrative services managers (which includes contract negotiators) were expected to see a 12% growth in employment from 2012-2022. This is average when compared to all other occupations. Part of this growth is a result of companies becoming more aware of energy efficiency and environmental impact. Many organizations are also looking for contract administrators who can negotiate services that are contracted out like grounds maintenance, repairs, janitorial services and food services.

Career Requirements

Education and Training

You need at least a GED or a high school diploma to work as a contract administrator; however, many employers are looking for contract administrators with at least a bachelor's degree. Business and communication majors are ideal given the negotiation aspects of the job. Previous work experience is very important as well. It's also important that you have leadership and managerial skills along with experience in sales and purchases.

What Do Employers Want?

Detail-oriented people are highly valuable to employers looking for contract administrators. If you make any mistakes, it may disrupt your employer's business. Communication and analytical skills are also important for negotiating contracts and ensuring you get a good deal. You can learn what some real employers were looking for in contract administrators in May 2012 by reading below.

  • In Maryland, a contract administrator position requires someone with organizational skills and experience in negotiating. Applicants also must have strong computer skills and be willing to travel within a region.
  • A Texas company is looking for a contract administrator who is proficient with Microsoft Excel. Applicants must be experienced in handling contracts and having a bachelor's degree is strongly preferred.
  • A contract administrator job in California is available to applicants willing to perform vendor visits, spot checks and ride-alongs. The position requires an individual to maintain technology within the workplace to ensure efficiency.
  • In New York, a business wants a contract administrator who has at least three years of experience in administration work.

How to Stand Out

By taking the time to join an official organization like the International Facility Management Association, you can set yourself apart from other contract administrators. Beyond the resources accessible to you as a member of this group, you can also pursue certification options. By obtaining a professional designation, you're demonstrating an additional level of commitment and professionalism beyond your peers who don't possess certification. Your certification options include the Facilities Management Professional (FMP) and Certified Facility Manager (CFR). While the FMP certification is for people entering the field, you have to possess a minimum amount of education and work experience for the CFM credential. The amount of work experience that you need varies depending on the level of education you have obtained.

Other Career Options

As a facility manager, you oversee the managing, planning and maintenance of the equipment, supplies, grounds and buildings used by your employer. Your overall goal is to make sure that the business' operations continue to run smoothly. Salary.com reported that facility managers had a median annual income of around $80,000 in 2012.

You can find employment in other areas of administrative service management. As a manager, you'll generally coordinate, direct and plan various services for your organization in a supporting capacity. This might include making sure mail gets distributed and records are properly kept. The BLS found that administrative services managers earned about $87,000 on average in 2011.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
      • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master : Business Admin
      • MBA: Project Management
      • Master: Management/Project Mgmt
      • MBA: Finance
    Bachelor's
      • BSBA in Purchasing
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BBA: Project Management
      • BSBA - Investment
    Associate's
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • AASBA in Business
      • AASBA -Entrepreneurship
      • AASBA in Retail Management
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - Internet Marketing
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
      • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management
      • PhD in Business Admin - Organizational Leadership
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Public Admin
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Financial Management
      • Doctor of Marriage & Family Therapy: Small Business & Entrepreneurship
    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • MBA - Management
      • MBA - Financial Management
      • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
      • MBA - Strategic Management
      • MBA - Project Management
  • Online Programs Available
    5. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
      • Master of Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Law - Business
      • Master of Business Administration - General Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Innovation Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship
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      • Master of Business Administration - Small Business Information Technology
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Government
      • Bachelor of Arts in Government
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - General Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business
  • Online Programs Available
    7. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
      • Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Government Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Management - Project Management
      • Doctor of Management - Global Leadership (Executive Format)
      • Doctorate: Management - Organizational Development and Change
    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin
      • Master: Management
      • Master of Business Admin - Entrepreneurship
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Business Administration - Management
      • Bachelor: Project Management
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      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organizational Behavior
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    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Post University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. in Business Administration
      • B.S. in Management
      • B.S. in Management / International Management
    Associate's
      • A.S. in Management

Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin
  • BSBA in Purchasing
  • Associate: Business Admin.

Which subject are you interested in?

Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
  • PhD in Business Admin - Management
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business
  • MBA - Management

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
  • Master of Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
  • Master of Business Administration - General Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Government
  • Bachelor of Arts in Government

What is your highest level of education completed?

American University

  • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
  • Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?