Last updated on:
November 7, 2022

If your business engages with a substantial number of vendors, suppliers, or contractors, it may be time to consider hiring a contract administrator (CA). Why? They’re the people who will ensure every contract between your organization and third parties are accurate, legally sound, and expertly managed.

Hiring a contract administrator doesn’t need to be a complicated affair. By understanding the role, what skills your candidates should have, and how to support your future contract administrator, you’ll be ready to take your contract management to the next level!

In this article, we’ll dive into a contract administrator’s key responsibilities, common job prerequisites, how to tackle the job description and listing, and why implementing a digital contracting software like SignHouse is central to supporting your new CA.

What is a Contract Administrator?

A contractor administrator is a professional who executes and oversees all aspects of the contract management process. This includes contract:

  • Preparation 
  • Drafting
  • Negotiating
  • Revising
  • Amending
  • Signing

They are also responsible for ensuring all parties uphold their end of the contract by tracking key deadlines. If contract amendments, such as changes to delivery timelines or production quantities need to occur, the CA will manage these communications and relevant amendments. 

Technically, contract administrators can work in almost any sector or industry. However, CAs are usually found working for organizations whose business models rely heavily on working with a substantial number of third-party partners.

 

What Does a Contract Administrator Do?

To break down the role of a contract administrator a little further, let’s look at the role’s key responsibilities.

Key Responsibilities

  • Preparing and drafting contracts - these are often sales and purchase contracts
  • Developing your business’ standard language for new (and existing) contracts
  • Negotiating terms and conditions with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Tracking contract timelines and reviewing and updating existing contracts when appropriate
  • Explaining contract terms and conditions to all stakeholders or interested parties
  • Ensuring all authorized signatories have been sent and have signed pending contracts
  • Ensuring your business continues to comply with any valid contract terms
  • Analyzing and flagging contract risks
  • Liaising with legal experts to ensure all contracts are staying up to date with current legislative changes
  • Organizing and managing all physical and digital records 

For a CA to efficiently execute these responsibilities on a daily basis, your business must have the right infrastructure to properly support its business activities. Implementing digital contract management software, like SignHouse, is a great way to do just this. 

SignHouse ensures your CA can promptly and securely send, share and make notes on all pending, current, and confirmed contracts. It also streamlines the signing process to encourage prompt contract confirmations. With added features such as contract editing tools and contract templates, your CA will have everything they need to do their job efficiently.

Why Are Contract Administrators Important?

Contracts shape and formalize business relationships between your organization and crucial project partners. So, to ensure business relationships stay beneficial and healthy, it’s imperative that contracts are fully analyzed, understood, and adhered to by all parties.

Your contract administrator will act in your organization’s best interests and ensure your contract management process protects and honors any contracting relationships your business needs to enter. 

Rather than having multiple colleagues trying to manage their department’s contract responsibilities, you can streamline the process through just one person. This will save your business time and money, by minimizing avoidable mistakes and misunderstandings.

Job Requirements for a Contract Administrator


A contract administrator role involves a substantial amount of responsibility. They must be able to: 

  • Accurately manage multiple contracts at a time 
  • Communicate the nuances of these contracts to all interested parties
  • Act within your business’s best interests at all times

This is why your business needs to be aware of the adequate formal training, work experience and key skills your future CA should have. 

Education

At a minimum, your future CA should have an undergraduate qualification - or equivalent - within a related field of study, such as:

  • Business administration or management
  • Commerce
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Legal studies
  • Human resources

Additionally, they should also have a few years of professional working experience within a contract-based environment — bonus points if they have worked in contract management roles!

If your business engages in particularly complicated contractual relationships, you may require a candidate who has also completed a master’s degree in law or business administration. These qualifications will ensure your candidate is well-versed in contractual language and current legislative requirements.

Certification

In the US, contract administrators (or similar professions) have the opportunity to pursue membership and certification with the National Contract Management Association (NCMA). The NCMA grants four levels of certification to contracting professionals. These certificates are based on a CA’s:

  • Number of years of professional experience
  • Hours of ongoing professional education
  • Ability to pass the relevant NCMA exam

Depending on your business needs, you may identify a minimum level of certification you would like your future CA have.

Top Skills

Alongside adequate education, professional experience, and certification, CA’s also need to be able to demonstrate the following skills:

Analytical skills

A large part of a CA’s role involves analyzing current and pending contracts to ensure they’re legally sound, accurate and align with your business’s best interests. A CA should be able to:

  • Identify problematic contract clauses
  • Recognize nuances in contracting language that can affect your business 
  • Look for loopholes within an agreement to minimize contract risk

Project management skills

Your CA will most likely be responsible for the majority of your contracts’ lifecycles. This involves exceptional organization, inter-department communication, and time management. CAs also need to know how to allocate their time and resources to ensure projects continue to progress and meet deadlines. 

Contract Administrator Salary Benchmarks

A contract administrator’s salary will vary depending on:

  • Years of experience
  • Complexity of the role (depending on your business niche)
  • Which state you operate in

On average, the salary curve looks like:

  • Early career - $47,000 - $55,000
  • Median - $63,800
  • Experienced - $72,000 - $81,000

Contract Administrator Job Listing Examples

Now that you know a little more about a CA’s role and what it entails, it’s time to dive into what makes a good contract administrator job description.

Let’s look at some real, current examples.

Example #1:

Example #2:

Example #3:

Example #4:

Posting Your Job Description: Best Practices

Include All Necessary Information

First and foremost, your job description should inform. Potential candidates should be able to read your job description and have all the information they need to complete an application. 

Your job description must include:

  • The job title
  • A concise job summary
  • Key role responsibilities 
  • Required qualifications and skills
  • The role’s salary and any benefits
  • Information on location and if you’re offering a hybrid work option
  • A short bio on your business and the perks of working for you

Use Growth-Mindset Language

Growth-mindset language is all about using words and phrases that communicate your business’ belief that career growth through hard work, collaboration, and a good strategy is possible (and favored). 

So, how do you include this in your job description? 

When describing your ideal candidate for your new contract administrator role, instead of saying:

We’re searching for a superstar contract administrator to join our team. The ideal candidate will be a high performer with an effortless knack for financial negotiations.

You could say:

We’re searching for our next hardworking contract administrator to join our team. The ideal candidate will be an impactful project manager with a thoughtful approach to financial negotiations. 

This language is naturally more encouraging and inspires the belief that your business has a more supportive culture. 

Engage and Share via Social Media

Sharing your job description on social media platforms means more eyeballs on your job ad and more engagement opportunities with your candidate pool. 

More eyeballs means your ad may attract a more diverse array of candidates, providing you with the opportunity to find someone unexpectedly perfect for your business.

Contract Administrator Job Description Template

Title: Contract Administrator for XX

Job Type: Full Time/Part Time/Contractor 

Location: Insert your organization’s city and country 

Duration: XX (if applicable)

Salary: Insert the salary or salary range

We’re searching for our next hardworking contract administrator to join the XX team. The ideal candidate will be an impactful project manager with a thoughtful approach to XX negotiations. As this role will be handling a substantial number of ongoing contracts, we’re looking for someone with strong communication and prioritization skills.

The role

In this role, your key responsibilities will include [choose and edit the responsibilities appropriate to your organization’s needs]:

  • Preparing and drafting [insert main type of contract here] contracts according to our standardized style and language 
  • Negotiating terms and conditions with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Tracking contract timelines and reviewing and updating existing contracts when appropriate
  • Explaining contract terms and conditions to all stakeholders or interested parties
  • Managing our authorized signatories contracts workflow
  • Ensuring our business continues to comply with all valid contract terms
  • Analyzing and flagging our potential contract risks
  • Liaising with our legal team to ensure all contracts are up to date with current legislative requirements
  • Organizing and managing all physical and digital records 

What you need

For this role, we’re looking for someone who has [edit as required for your organization’s needs]:

  • An undergraduate degree in XX or equivalent
  • XX years of contract management (or similar) experience 
  • A XX certification issued by the NCMA
  • Proven project management experience within a contract management role
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Confident stakeholder communication skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Any industry specific skills that are appropriate for your organization 

Our company

At XX, we strive to offer all of our employees a supportive and growth-orientated working environment. We offer competitive salary packages and the below benefits to ensure all of our staff feel valued during their time with us.

Benefits

  • Bullet point your role’s benefits and any affiliated programs/groups/charities your organization actively supports or provides for your employees.
  • If you offer a hybrid or remote working option for this role, be sure to state it here.
  • You can also re-state the role’s salary in this section.

 

Supporting Your New Contract Administrator

Having the right business infrastructure to support your contract administrator is essential. Without one, your CA won’t be able to do their job effectively, resulting in slow or lost business activities for you.

As business administration continues to move digital, it’s imperative your contract management does too. Digitizing your contracting process through software like SignHouse gives your CA an effective but straightforward infrastructure to work from properly. 

Explore SignHouse’s features by signing up to our waitlist and see how our software can help you and your contract administrator today!

FAQs

Are your electronic signatures legal?

Our signatures are 100% legally binding, as SignHouse is built around US and International Laws concerning digital signatures. SignHouse eSignatures are on par with paper signatures, from a legal point of view!

Signing papers digitally started being equal to physical, handwritten signatures in the U.S. eSignature Act of 2000 (U.S. Federal Act) + the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA). As a consequence, laws in other countries have followed suit. SignHouse is built around these laws.

Are signed quotations legally binding?

Yes, at SignHouse we only work with legally binding signatures.

Are your Google Slides signatures free?

Definitely! You don't have to pay a single dollar to create and add your signature to a Google Slides presentation.

Can a PDF be convert to plain text?

Yes. Simply upload your PDF document, and our Optical Character Recognition system will find text in your PDF and convert all of it to plain text. Then, you can save the TXT document.

About the author

Ch Daniel is the co-founder of SignHouse and chairman of the CH Group. Daniel is leading the development of SignHouse's product, as well as strategising how else the company can reach its main mission: empowering 100M+ to use the world's most efficient document organisational tools.

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