What does a Principal Contract Administrator do?

Contract Administrators develop, negotiate and evaluate company contracts on behalf of an organization. They are charged with ensuring that both parties are complicit with the terms of the contract, as well as ensuring that all contracts abide by local and federal laws. Contract Administrators may work in a variety of different industries and typically begin their careers as a Contract Specialist before working their way up to Contract Administrator or Contract Manager.

Contract Administrators typically hold a bachelor's degree in Finance, Accounting or Law, though an MBA is often preferred. Overall, the most successful Contract Administrators have a strong knowledge of business financial best practices, an understanding of contract law, and possess a strong attention to detail. They must also be skilled communicators and have excellent negotiation skills.

What responsibilities are common for Principal Contract Administrator jobs?
  • Develop contract proposals to support organizational goals
  • Review contract estimates, including proposed materials, production costs, etc and determine whether they seem reasonable and accurate
  • Ensure that all records are accurate and up to date
  • Write contract letters and other communications and notices
  • Negotiate and approve contract terms while ensuring that projects remain within the established budget
  • Attend meetings to assess progress on projects which are in motion, and take detailed notes to share with stakeholders
  • Create regular status reports regarding progress on projects
  • Analyze contracts to ensure they comply with state and federal laws and regulations
What are the typical qualifications for Principal Contract Administrator jobs?
  • 3+ years prior experience in a contract administration role or a related field
  • Exemplifies knowledge of contract law, accounting principles and finance
  • Has strong negotiation and mediation skills
  • Possesses superior attention to detail in order to spot inconsistencies in contracts
  • Has previous experience in customer service and strong communication skills
  • Able to work productively independently and as part of a team
  • Must have excellent analytical thinking skills and problem solving abilities
  • Previous experience as a project manager, or coordinating large projects is an asset
  • Should exhibit strong organizational and time management abilities
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Principal Contract Administrator make?

$101,550 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Principal Contract Administrator Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal Contract Administrator, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Principal Contract Administrator

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training
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Principal Contract Administrator Insights

Read what Principal Contract Administrator professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Barratt DevelopmentsBarratt Developments
Contracts Manager
May 16, 2022

“I find Barratts to have great career development opportunities and they are supportive of progression.”

Risk Management SolutionsRisk Management Solutions
Contract Administrator III
Jan 18, 2020

“Good Work life balance: If you want to enjoy and be in your comfort zone this is your organisation.”

Contracts Administrator
Apr 5, 2022

“Everyone at BluewaveSelect is great to work with and have helped me learn so many new things.”

Contract Manager
Aug 10, 2021

“BT do a great job of training up junior employees and you get real responsibility from day one.”

Defense Contract Management AgencyDefense Contract Management Agency
Contract Administrator
Nov 12, 2021

“Not as many opportunities to progress your career if you’re looking to stay at one location.”

Schneider ElectricSchneider Electric
Contract Manager
Aug 13, 2021

“.I felt that some of the upper management didn't understand the process on how the work was processed.”

DBS BankDBS Bank
Feb 23, 2020

“Some employee worked for many years >5 years but are not converted to permanent role.”

R.D. Jones & AssociatesR.D. Jones & Associates
Contract Administrator
Mar 2, 2020

“I consider myself to have a pretty great work/life balance and I do not really feel like that is encroached upon.”

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Principal Contract Administrator Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of contract administrators

The typical day of a contract administrator includes reviewing and negotiating contracts on behalf of a business. Once a contract is accepted, contract administrators ensure compliance with the requirements of the contract, while suggesting amendments when needed. They work closely with the legal department to manage conflict disagreements.

One of the best parts about being a contract administrator is that it's a fast-growing field as businesses rely on internal resources to review and create contracts. Contract administrators usually have great work environments, sometimes with remote work capabilities. The analytical and accountability skills of a contract administrator are transferable, offering good job security.

Working as a contract administrator requires careful attention to detail and accountability. One of the challenges of being a contract administrator is that they're often under a lot of pressure when facilitating or negotiating a contract. Becoming a contract administrator also requires staying up-to-date on the latest contract laws and regulations.

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Project Manager
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Principal Contract Administrator Jobs