Contracts Manager

Introduction

As a Contracts Manager, your job will be to oversee projects from start to finish, making sure that the work is completed on time and within budget. You will have particular responsibility for drafting, evaluating, negotiating and delivering business agreements with either clients, contractors or sub-contractors

Video: - Mark W: Contracts Manager

Work Activities

As a Contracts Manager, your job will be to oversee projects from start to finish, making sure that the work is completed on time and within budget. You will have particular responsibility for drafting, evaluating, negotiating and delivering business agreements with either clients, contractors or sub-contractors.

Contract Managers are used in many different industries, including:

  • construction
  • building
  • retail
  • NHS
  • universities

You might be working directly for a client, identifying what work needs to be done and then getting in contact with people who might be able to do that work for you - contractors. It will then be up to you to work with the contractors negotiating a contract which includes fees to be paid, the work to be done, the timescale etc.

Or you might be working for a contractor and negotiating with clients and sub-contractors. You priorities will still be to make sure that the work you have been contracted to carry-out, is completed within the agreed time and budget.

You duties as a Contract Manager could also include:

  • tender management
  • quality control - make sure that work is being carried according to the expected standards
  • carry out health and safety audits - making sure health and safety regulations are being correctly followed
  • maintaining good, positive working relations with clients, contractors and sub-contractors
  • chairing meetings between clients, contractors and sub-contractors

Personal Qualities and Skills

As a Contracts Manager you'll need:

  • IT skills
  • the ability to work to strict deadlines
  • project management skills
  • the ability to organise people
  • to be aware of any legal requirements and legislation associated with your industry
  • a driving licence - often you will be travelling around the country, working at different sites

Personal skills - are you:

  • creative? Do you enjoy using your imagination to overcome problems?
  • a great communicator? Are you able to explain technical and complex ideas clearly, so that non-technical people can understand?
  • a motivator? You might have responsibility for a team, and so the ability to motivate and encourage others will be an advantage.
  • an organised person? You may need to co-ordinate several different tasks at the same time, and so you will need to be able to prioritise.
  • a great team player? You will need to work carefully with other staff, in order to fully understand the process and devise the best system.

If any of these personal skills sound like you, then why not think about becoming a Contracts Manager.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

As a Contracts Manager, you could earn in the range:

Starting: £25,000 - £30,000

With experience: £40,000 - £60,000

High flyers: around £60,000+

Hours of work

You will most likely work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Occasional late finishes and weekend work may be required.

Where could I work?

Employers include employers in the following industries:

  • construction
  • retail
  • NHS
  • education

Being a Contracts Manager can lead to you working anywhere in the world.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on Worktrack, in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Universal Jobmatch website.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

So, how do you become a Contracts Manager?

Most employers will expect you to have an HNC/HND or a degree before entering this career, however alternative routes are available.

Choose your point of entry below:

School Leaver

It is very unlikely that you could get a job as a Contracts Manager without GCSEs However, you could consider getting a trainee position within the industry you intend to specialise in. You might be able to get onto an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in a relevant engineering area, and work your way up. It'll be up to you to learn new skills, and to show that you can progress to more senior roles. Then, once you have gained relevant industry skills and experience, you might be able to apply for Contracts Manager positions.

You will need to start to look for suitable job vacancies. If you are under 18 you will need to find a job that includes training, part-time study, or apply for an apprenticeship.

GCSEs

It is very unlikely that you could get a job as a Contracts Manager with just GCSEs. However, you could consider getting a lower level job and training within the industry you intend to specialise in. You might be able to get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship in a relevant engineering area, and work your way up. It'll be up to you to learn new skills, and to show that you can progress to more senior roles. Then, once you have gained relevant industry skills and experience, you might be able to apply for Contracts Manager positions.

Or you could decide to stay on at college and study A levels?

You will need to start to look for suitable job vacancies, or thinking about which A levels you might like to study. If you are under 18 you will need to find a job that includes training, part-time study, or apply for an apprenticeship

A levels

Normally, employers will expect you to have an HND, HNC or a degree in order to go straight into this career. However, if you are thinking about leaving school after finishing your A levels, you could consider getting a lower level job and training within the industry you intend to specialise in. you might be able to get onto a Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship in a relevant area.

Then, once you have gained relevant industry skills and experience, you might be able to apply for Contracts Manager positions.

Or you could choose to go onto university, to study a relevant degree or HND, HNC (these are also available to study at Further Education Colleges). You will learn some of the skills, techniques and technologies, that employers need.

You will need to start carefully planning which A levels you are going to study. Take a look at the Subjects section to see which A levels will help you to get onto a relevant HND,HNC or degree course, or help you get onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship.

Then once you are studying for your A levels, you will need to start looking for suitable job vacancies, or applying to Further Education Colleges, or universities through UCAS.

University

Many employers require you to have an HND ,HNC or a degree before you become an Contracts Manager. HNDs, HNCs and Degrees in relevant subjects are available at many universities. In order to get onto one of these courses, you will usually need at least two A levels.

After completing your A levels, you might be able to get onto a Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship in a relevant area.

So now is a great time to start planning your route through to university. Take a look at the Subjects section to see a list of relevant A level and GCSE subjects, which can help you get onto the right university course.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Work Experience

Many people enter this career after gaining relevant skills, and perhaps qualifications, in their specialist industry. Experience is highly valued in this career.

Qualifications

To enter a relevant degree course, the usual requirements are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C or above
  • A further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C or above
  • English, Maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C or above.

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship, you will need at least two A Levels, or an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Other qualifications, such as a relevant Edexcel (BTEC) level 3 National or the International Baccalaureate Diploma are often accepted. Check prospectuses carefully.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A-level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Many people enter this career after gaining relevant skills, and perhaps qualifications, in their specialist industry. Experience is highly valued in this career.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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