Careers Paths

Contract manager:  Advice on how to become one

A contract manager’s responsibility is to assist organizations in managing their legal documentation and contracts. They are aware of every phase of contract administration and ensure that all parties follow the terms and conditions. It would be beneficial to understand more about the duties and responsibilities of this role if you’re thinking about a career as a contract manager. In this post, we’ll define contract management and show you how to do it.

What exactly is a contract manager?

A contract manager’s or administrator’s duties include reviewing and revising current contracts as well as drafting and negotiating new contracts on behalf of a company or organization. They might be employed by an engineering firm, an insurance company, or a college. Contract managers carefully and again examine the subcontract and contract paperwork for a project to become familiar with them. A contract manager is responsible for overseeing every step of contracts for the sale or purchase of resources, services, or goods.

A contract manager assesses a company’s contracts as they approach expiration and makes sure they are renewed. Their responsibility is to make sure that everyone abides by the contract’s conditions and terms. Listed below are some duties a contract manager might handle:

  • Offer contracts that could aid a company in achieving its goals.
  • Make sure all records are current and accurate.
  • Verify the estimates to ensure that the contract’s expenses are reasonable.
  • Create letters, contract reminders, and other forms of correspondence.
  • By discussing and agreeing to the terms of the contract, you can keep the project’s budget intact.
  • Attend or participate in meetings or conferences with business stakeholders to make sure that projects are on track.
  • Verify that contracts adhere to all applicable rules and regulations.
  • Respond to questions about the contract.
  • Check contracts for any dangers that might exist.

The responsibilities of a contract manager

The duties of a contract manager revolve around the management, administration, and oversight of contracts and agreements within an organization. These duties can vary depending on the industry, the size and complexity of the contracts, and the specific needs of the organization. Here are common responsibilities associated with a contract manager’s role:

  1. Contract Development: Draft, review, and negotiate contract terms and conditions. Ensure that contracts align with the organization’s goals and objectives.
  2. Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks in contracts and develop strategies to minimize or mitigate those risks. This includes understanding and managing legal and financial risks.
  3. Contract Compliance: Monitor and enforce compliance with contract terms and conditions by all parties involved. This may involve conducting audits or assessments.
  4. Relationship Management: Cultivate and maintain positive relationships with clients, vendors, partners, and other stakeholders. Address any issues or disputes that may arise during the contract period.
  5. Contract Performance: Monitor and evaluate the performance of contracts to ensure that all parties are meeting their obligations. This includes tracking deliverables, deadlines, and service levels.
  6. Negotiation: Participate in negotiations with clients, vendors, or partners to reach mutually beneficial agreements and resolve disputes.
  7. Record-Keeping: Maintain comprehensive records of all contracts and related documentation. This includes contracts, amendments, correspondence, and any changes to the contract terms.
  8. Contract Amendments: Assess the need for and implement contract amendments or modifications when necessary due to changes in circumstances, scope, or legal requirements.
  9. Financial Management: Understand the financial aspects of contracts, including pricing, payment terms, penalties, and incentives. This involves working with the finance department.
  10. Compliance and Ethics: Ensure that contracts adhere to ethical standards and legal regulations, including industry-specific compliance requirements.
  11. Vendor or Supplier Management: If contracts involve vendors or suppliers, manage these relationships effectively. Evaluate vendor performance and negotiate supplier agreements.
  12. Contract Communication: Communicate contract terms and obligations to relevant parties within the organization and ensure understanding and compliance.
  13. Reporting: Generate reports on contract status, performance, and potential issues. This information is often shared with management and other stakeholders.
  14. Conflict Resolution: Resolve disputes and conflicts related to contracts and agreements in a fair and equitable manner. This may involve working with legal counsel or alternative dispute resolution methods.
  15. Contract Closeout: Properly close out contracts by verifying that all obligations have been met, ensuring that final payments are made, and documenting the closure.
  16. Policy and Process Improvement: Continuously evaluate and improve contract management policies, procedures, and practices to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
  17. Training and Education: Provide training and guidance to colleagues, staff, or other stakeholders involved in the contract management process.
  18. Legal Awareness: Keep up to date with changes in contract law and legal requirements that may impact contract management activities.

These duties collectively ensure that contracts are executed effectively, risks are minimized, and the organization’s interests are protected. Contract managers play a vital role in maintaining the integrity of business relationships and ensuring that contracts are beneficial to all parties involved.

How much money is made by a contract manager?

The typical yearly wage for a contract manager is £44,966. This amount is influenced by a variety of factors, including experience, location, organization, education, certifications, and supplemental talents. Additionally, it could change based on the position. You can be entitled to a higher wage if you work in a high-level role.

How to Make a Career as a Contract Manager

You can follow these steps to become a contract manager:

1. Obtain a degree

A bachelor’s degree in a related discipline is necessary for contract managers to succeed. The majority of contract managers complete a business management degree, where they study management and contract law. You can also earn degrees in human resources, finance, legal studies, and finance management and planning, among other important fields.

2. Recognize the different steps involved

You can gain from having a better comprehension of the contract administration procedure as a contract manager. The following are the steps that make up the contract administration process:

  • Request for a Contract: At this phase, the contract’s stakeholders and parties can exchange expectations.
  • Contract drafting: Important dates, standard contract provisions, the parties’ identities, and other pertinent information are all taken into consideration while preparing a written contract.
  • Contract negotiation: During this stage, the parties to the contract negotiate the clauses created during the contract drafting process.
  • Contract approval: In this stage, the parties assess a second version of the contract, which ends in a final agreement and contract exchange.
  • Contract execution: Following mutual agreement on the provisions of the contract, a spokesperson for each party seals and signs the contract.
  • Managing compliance and obligations: By signing the contract, all participants agree to their pre-defined roles and outputs, payment periods, and any other precise commitments mentioned in the agreement.
  • Renewal of the contract: If the relationship between the parties is strong enough to support future business, they may do so.

3. Acquire expertise

In contract management, there is no position for entry-level professionals. In the end, they are typically professionals who are in the middle of their careers and getting a mid-level role inside the organization. Although many have held the role for a minimum of ten years, contract managers typically have a minimum of 5 to 6 years of managerial or legal experience. To analyze a contract, adhere to its provisions, or enforce its rules against another party, you need contract management abilities.

An organization ready to provide you with the experience you need to advance in the ranks may hire you for an entry-level position in contract administration if you have a bachelor’s degree in the field.

4. Develop your abilities

Some skills you can develop as a contract manager include:


Excellent communication is essential in every step of the contract administration process. The duties and responsibilities of each participant in the contract management procedure, including stakeholders, 3rd parties, and vendors, must be clearly understood. In addition to making sure that information is readily available while following data protection laws and that the organization is safe, it is crucial to create an environment that encourages strong working relationships and simplifies the contracting process.


Contract administrators occasionally engage in contract negotiations. In this situation, it is crucial to negotiate the best deal for the business while meeting the expectations of all parties involved in the contracting process, making technical and legal lingo more intelligible, and avoiding the use of archaic language. All parties can be assured that they will fulfill the duties and deliverables outlined in the contract by having an understanding and communicating with one another.

Technical proficiency

Technical expertise is a bonus in this profession. You normally require technology to stay on top of all the deadlines and deliveries when managing many contracts. Contract managers might benefit from having some familiarity with contract management software or other contract administration solutions.

Keeping of records

One of the numerous duties of contract managers is keeping a records system up to date. By maintaining a comprehensive record of all information and papers related to the contract, it is possible to lower risk and protect the business from future legal action. To centralize all documents and data and to manage a record-keeping system, contract administrators employ a contract management tool. By centralizing all documentation and making it simpler to access and handle contracts, records, and legal agreements, the documentation process can be streamlined.

Thorough knowledge of compliance

Contract administrators must adhere to compliance requirements. Whether a company has a compliance officer or team in place. Businesses and organizations might avoid adhering to rules and regulations if they deal with a variety of contract provisions.

Reporting and data

By closely observing the contract’s life span, a contract manager makes sure it is successful. Best practices can be applied at any point in the procedure. For contract managers to embrace best practices and optimize the workflow involved with contract management, reporting skills are a necessity. They can clearly and promptly describe the contract’s current level of growth as a result. This guarantees prompt responses to emerging trends and any problems throughout the contract life span.

5. Acquire certificates

You can receive credentials in your area of expertise from a contract management organization. As a contract manager, you are a member of a community of like-minded individuals who can help one other progress professionally and stay abreast of new developments in the field. A contract administration association can help you move into a contract administration role and advance to an executive post during the first few years after being hired, thanks to a specialized job bank and useful resources.

6. Complete a master’s program.

It’s essential to seize chances for career development as a contract manager. After obtaining a bachelor’s in the field, one may pursue a master’s in business management or another related field. A master’s degree can also be used to obtain an entry-level career in contract administration that leads to a more advanced position within the organization.

Contract manager skills

Contract managers play a crucial role in overseeing contracts and agreements within an organization. They ensure that contracts are executed properly, risks are minimized, and the terms are adhered to. Here are key skills and competencies for a contract manager:

1. Contract Law Knowledge: An in-depth understanding of contract law, including the ability to interpret and draft contracts, is essential for a contract manager. This includes knowledge of legal terms and contract clauses.

2. Negotiation Skills: Effective negotiation skills are vital for reaching mutually beneficial agreements with clients, suppliers, and partners. Contract managers need to negotiate terms and resolve disputes.

3. Risk Management: Assessing and mitigating risks within contracts is a core responsibility. Contract managers must identify potential risks and develop strategies to minimize them.

4. Attention to Detail: Contracts often involve complex language and terms. A keen eye for detail is necessary to ensure accuracy and compliance with legal and organizational requirements.

5. Communication Skills: Effective written and verbal communication is critical for drafting, reviewing, and explaining contract terms. Contract managers also need to communicate with various stakeholders.

6. Analytical Skills: Analyzing contracts, financial implications, and legal obligations requires strong analytical abilities. Contract managers must evaluate terms and conditions thoroughly.

7. Organizational Skills: Managing multiple contracts simultaneously can be challenging. Strong organizational skills are needed to keep track of contract deadlines, renewals, and obligations.

8. Financial Acumen: Understanding the financial aspects of contracts, such as pricing, payments, and penalties, is important for assessing the economic impact of agreements.

9. Conflict Resolution: Disputes and conflicts can arise during contract execution. Contract managers should be skilled in conflict resolution and problem-solving.

10. Vendor Management: If the role involves dealing with vendors or suppliers, vendor management skills are crucial. This includes performance evaluation and relationship management.

11. Compliance and Ethics: Contract managers must ensure that contracts adhere to ethical standards and legal regulations. They should be knowledgeable about compliance requirements specific to their industry.

12. IT Proficiency: Familiarity with contract management software and other relevant tools can streamline contract administration and record-keeping.

13. Time Management: The ability to manage deadlines and prioritize tasks is essential for handling multiple contracts efficiently.

14. Adaptability: Contract managers often deal with changing regulations and market conditions. The ability to adapt to these changes and adjust contract terms as needed is valuable.

15. Business Acumen: Understanding the business and industry in which the organization operates is important for aligning contracts with broader business strategies.

16. Reporting and Documentation: Keeping thorough records and generating reports on contract status and performance is part of the role.

17. Customer Service: If contracts involve clients or customers, contract managers should be customer-focused and responsive to their needs and concerns.

These skills are essential for contract managers to effectively manage contracts, minimize risks, and ensure that all parties fulfill their obligations. The specific skills required may vary based on the industry, organization, and complexity of the contracts being managed.


Gaining a job in the construction business requires work experience. You could learn this while attending school, working over the weekends, and on holidays for a business or a family that manages contracts. Any prospective employer will be happy to see employment experience on your resume.

Frequently Asked Questions about Contract Manager

  • What does a contract manager do?

The formation, negotiation, implementation, compliance, preservation, and renewal of contracts across all organizational departments is the responsibility of contract managers, who frequently depend on contract administration software to make the process easier.

  • What other name would you give a contract manager?

A contract manager could also be referred to as a contract expert or a contract administrator, for instance, by some employers.

  • What courses should I take to qualify as a contract manager?

You could earn a foundation degree, Higher National Diploma (HND), or bachelor’s degree in a field that covers contract law, like civil or structural engineering, to work as a contracts manager or contracts engineer.

  • What qualifications are typically required for a contract manager role?

The qualifications for a contract manager can vary depending on the organization and the specific industry. However, most contract manager positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as business, law, or contract management. Some roles may prefer candidates with a master’s degree or a certification in contract management. Additionally, relevant work experience, such as prior experience in contract management or a related field, is often a key requirement.

  • What are the primary differences between a contract manager and a procurement manager?

Contract managers and procurement managers play distinct but complementary roles in the procurement process. A contract manager focuses on the post-procurement phase, ensuring that contracts are executed and adhered to. Their responsibilities include contract drafting, negotiation, risk assessment, and ongoing contract management. On the other hand, a procurement manager is responsible for the pre-procurement phase, which includes sourcing suppliers or vendors, selecting the right suppliers, and negotiating initial procurement agreements. While both roles involve contract management, the key difference lies in the stage of the procurement process they focus on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *