- Can you review contracts and specifications to determine company commitments and obligations?
- Do you have a good understanding of contract law and regulation?
- Do you have strong administrative and organizational skills?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then a career as a Contract Administrator could be right for you.
Contract administrators must be familiar with all of the details in a project contract and subcontract documents, including all plans and specifications described in the each.
Contract administrators are employed by project owners, project designers and engineers, and by general contractors. In smaller organizations, contract administrators may also perform other tasks.
Contract administrators perform the following types of activities:
- Review plans, specifications and contracts to ensure the correct equipment, material and subcontractor services are ordered and/or purchased
- Determine or negotiate contract terms and conditions, award supplier contracts or recommend contract awards
- Manage paperwork related to contracts
- Establish delivery schedules, monitor progress, and contact clients and suppliers to resolve problems
- Work with project managers, architects, engineers, owners and others to make sure project goals are met
In most cases, contract administrators work in an office. As part of large construction projects, they can work in an external office on a work site. In either case, they will devote part of their time to the work site to ensure that the equipment and materials meet the requirements of the contract or sub-contract.
As with all careers in the construction industry, safety is the top priority. While on construction or other job sites, contract administrators must be aware of and comply with all relevant safety policy and procedures.
Training and Certification
US-based CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) is a good source of information for this occupation and offers a number of certifications. For more information, visit csiresources.org. Check out their YouTube channel for a wealth of videos.
A bachelor's degree or college diploma in business administration, commerce or economics is usually required.
Contract administrators dealing with contracts or subcontracts for specialized projects may require a related university degree or college diploma. For example, a bachelor's degree or college diploma in engineering may be required for purchasers of industrial products.
Experience in the construction industry is beneficial.