What Is a Contract Specialist and How to Become One
What Is a Contract Specialist?
A contract specialist oversees the review and negotiation of contracts between two or more parties. As a contract specialist, your responsibilities include reviewing existing contracts to be sure both parties are fulfilling their requirements, mediating and addressing shortcomings, and negotiating new contracts. You may also be asked to research alternatives and execute these options. Contract specialists may work with various professionals within a business, such as purchasing agents or the purchasing manager. Your job is to ensure that both parties feel they are being treated fairly and are therefore willing to agree to the terms of the contract.
How to Become a Contract Specialist
While many employers require a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field, some entry-level contract specialist jobs only require a year of college business courses. Those employers may provide on-the-job training to give you the rest of the skills you need. However, to advance to a senior position, an MBA, or least some graduate coursework, is likely necessary. Whether through formal education or on-the-job experience, you should study the intricacies of contract management, including negotiations and various applicable laws. The negotiation skills you gain are crucial to your success in the field. A professional certificate from the Federal Acquisition Institute or the National Contract Management Association is an option if you are looking to advance your contract specialist career without attending a graduate program.