Contract coordinators create, negotiate prices for and track the progress of contracts with suppliers and service vendors. They work for corporations, hospitals or government agencies, where they review proposals from vendors and select those that best fit their needs and budgets. They also work with department heads to get contracts approved. Contract coordinators usually report to contract administrators or administrative services managers. As of 2014, they earned an average $45,000 a year, according to the job and career reference site Glassdoor.
Contract coordinators assist administrators in negotiating the terms, dates and payments of contracts with service vendors and suppliers. They create purchase order numbers for all vendors and manage payments through their employers' accounts payable departments. Contract coordinators also maintain contract files and ensure that the proper departments are charged, which helps accounting departments better allocate and manage company budgets. Other important functions of this job include evaluating the performance of vendors and severing the contracts of those who don't meet their standards. For example, a contract coordinator may discontinue making purchases from a food supplier if the company doesn't give price breaks offered by competitors.
Most contract coordinators work in offices during regular business hours. The job can get stressful as they assist supervisors in meeting deadlines for contract negotiations, whether they're commencing, renewing or replacing vendors. They may occasional meet with new suppliers outside of the office to better assess their shipping and order-fulfillment capabilities.
Education and Qualifications
Applicants may qualify for contract coordinator jobs with high school diplomas or associate degrees, but most have bachelor's degrees in business, finance, accounting, engineering, public administration or facility management. Employers may also prefer hiring those with one or more years of experience assisting contract administrators with contracts. Other essential requirements are attention to details, and analytical, organization, communication and computer skills.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't project the number of jobs for contract coordinators. It estimates a 12 percent increase in employment from 2012 to 2022 for secretaries and administrative assistants, who perform many functions similar to those of contract coordinators. This is about the same as the national rate for all occupations. Companies cannot substitute technological advances for the interpersonal skills of secretaries and administrative assistants, which should result in stable job opportunities. The average salary for secretaries and administrative assistants was $34,000 a year as of May 2013, according to the BLS. in 2014, Glassdoor reported average salaries of $39,000 for administrative assistants.
The position directly above most contract coordinator jobs is that of contract administrator. Contract administrators oversee the work of contract coordinators, training them on contract policies and procedures. They assign tasks to coordinators but are accountable for maintaining the appropriate records of all contracts. Most contract administrators have bachelor's degrees in business and facility management. The average salary for a contract administrator was $59,000 a year in 2014, according to Glassdoor.