Contract specialists help companies acquire goods and services.
Various types of specialist contract jobs may exist for individuals with experience in the procurement process for goods and services. Most contract specialist jobs are generally tasked with procuring goods and services for a government agency from a private sector company or other government agency. Many specialist supervisory or senior-level contract jobs are with local or regional government agencies. Some contract specialist jobs are also with a private sector company that contracts services to government agencies.
Some purchasing consultants may specialize in electronic purchasing.
There are a number of positions often associated with contract specialist positions. Entry-level contract specialist jobs are typically appropriate for recent college or university graduates. Government contracts specialist jobs are typically within government agencies that purchase goods and services from companies or other agencies. Typically, supervisory contract specialist jobs manage a team of workers tasked with completing the tasks of the contract process. Senior Contract Specialist jobs are similar to the supervisor role, without responsibility for the workflow of others.
Senior contract specialists are similar to those in the supervisory role, except that they often do not supervise employees.
Most entry-level contract specialist jobs provide an opportunity to learn essential roles related to the procurement process and the contracts that accompany it. People in entry-level positions can receive on-the-job training to learn contract terms and processes. Often, no previous work experience is required, and this role can become a career opportunity for a recent graduate.
Duties related to a government contract specialist generally cover a broad spectrum of responsibilities. Some functions may involve developing submission requirements to bid for the supply of goods or services to the government agency. A government contracts specialist can negotiate and review the terms of the contract, ensuring that legal terms and conditions comply with agency policies. Ongoing duties may include evaluating suppliers’ performance in meeting the terms of the contract.
Oversight contract specialists can direct the workload of other contract specialists during the initial process and after contracts are awarded. This may involve planning the work process, creating requests, advising on negotiations, and selecting contract awards. The responsibilities of directing subordinates through each step of the process may continue until the end of the terms of the contract. As a supervisor, people in these roles can also provide feedback to subordinates on job performance.
Typically, jobs for senior contract specialists entail duties similar to supervisors. One exception is that people in these roles may not be involved in the process of negotiating actual contracts. Instead, senior contract specialists can provide recommendations on the appropriate paths to develop a contract.
Senior Contract Specialists’ roles and responsibilities may also include researching past contracts and recommending changes to improve efficiency. Most of the time, senior contract specialists review past purchases and compare the current market value of goods and services. These jobs typically audit processes to look for the best methods of procuring contracted goods and services.