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What Is a Contract Specialist and How to Become One

Contract Specialist

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.

Contract Specialist Job Description Sample

With this Contract Specialist job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Contract Specialist role.

Job Summary

The Contract Specialist is responsible for the administration and management of all contractual agreements between the company and its customers. This includes drafting, negotiating, and interpreting various contracts, ensuring compliance with legal and contractual requirements, and providing oversight to ensure that all contractual commitments are met. This role is also responsible for providing legal advice and support to the sales and marketing departments.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensure that all contractual agreements are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • Update and maintain customer contracts in the company’s database
  • Maintain strong working relationships with stakeholders
  • Provide guidance and support to other departments on contractual matters

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Law, or related field
  • 5+ years of experience in contract management or related field preferred
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team