What is a Contract Administrator?

A contracts administrator is responsible for managing all aspects of contracts, including preparing, revising, negotiating, examining, and analyzing the documents. Typically, these contracts will involve the sale or purchase of products, goods, supplies, services, or materials.

How to become a Contract Administrator

If you want to have a career as a contracts administrator, it's important to first understand the levels of responsibility and accountability that come with this role. Administrating contracts is a rapidly-growing career path, making it a good option for those who want to pursue growth and advancement. Contracts continue to be extremely relevant and important to organizations across a variety of industries. 

In order to succeed as a contracts administrator, you typically need these skills:

  • Excellent attention to detail, with the ability to find inconsistencies and errors
  • Teamwork and the ability to work with a variety of people at all levels
  • Language comprehension and reading skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to execute and negotiate contracts
  • Leadership and management skills

Typical Roles and Responsibilities of a Contracts Administrator

In a typical day as a contracts administrator, you will often be responsible for a number of tasks. Your specific list of job duties will depend on the size and type of project, as well as the working location. All job duties are essential to the successful execution and management of contracts for business. These contracts can vary, but often include contract proposals, sale and rental contracts, and employment contracts.

The responsibilities of a contracts administrator include:

  • Negotiating terms of contracts, both with external and internal parties
  • Preparing purchasing and sales contracts
  • Updating existing contracts
  • Reviewing contracts in preparation for execution

The most common duties assigned to a contracts administrator are:

  • Analyzing and reducing risk
  • Overseeing the preparation of contracts relating to the sale or purchase of services and goods, as well as revising contracts as needed
  • Tracking deadlines and payments
  • Handling the distribution, storage, and acquisition of supplies and equipment
  • Providing summaries and details about contracts, while ensuring that the execution meets the policies of each company
  • Disposing of any property that goes unclaimed
  • Performing any necessary closing activities
  • Overseeing planning of proposals and contract administration
  • Ensuring that all parties involved in the contract comply with owner specifications, legal regulations, and government requirements
  • Negotiating conditions and terms of a contract
  • Preparing and dissecting information to any involved parties in regard to the status of the contract
  • Coordinating meetings with contractors
  • Preparing revisions and briefs that will summarize financial information and contractual regulations
  • Maintaining files for every contract, including payment schedules, correspondence, clarifications, deviations/changes, and amendments
  • Tracking any correspondence and authorizations
  • Preparing change notices and monitoring the performance of the contract, including the contractor status, reporting, and any deliverables required by the owner
  • Maintaining organized, detailed files

For most businesses, a contracts administrator would also need to:

  • Analyze any potential risks that come with changes to the contract
  • Work with people across various levels of an organization to create and maintain a strategy for contract management
  • Follow up on all payment terms
  • Coordinate with legal and internal teams
  • Negotiate any conditions, pricing, or terms and ensure that all changes are executed
  • Maintain communication with members of the management team for all contract status changes
  • Act as a liaison between external and internal parties during the processes of developing and negotiating contracts
  • Aid in conflict resolution
  • Manage all language rules and standards in new and existing contracts

Requirements to Become a Contract Administrator

In order to be a contracts administrator, you must have the following:

  • BS degree in business administration, along with any additional legal qualifications
  • Previous experience in a relevant role, such as a contract manager
  • Ability to interact and work with team members in varying levels within the company, including shareholders, external partners, managers, staff, and contract workers
  • Knowledge of any legal requirements associated with contracts
  • Organizational and analytical skills
  • Accounting experience
  • Excellent attention to detail and the ability to pinpoint mistakes
  • Excellent written communication skills

Education, Career Outlook and Salary Potential of a Contracts Administrator

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a contracts administrator, consider pursuing a master's degree in business administration or a similar field, such as accounting, economics, or mathematics. This advanced degree may not be a requirement for a job, but it can help you stand out among other candidates.

If you need help becoming a contracts administrator, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.