What does a Principal Contract Specialist do?
A contract specialist is responsible from every phase of contract development from researching the legal regulations to negotiating the terms and preparing the print document. He or she may collaborate with a legal team or work independently to evaluate bids and draft documents. Contract specialists are also responsible for assisting clients to terminate contracts on favorable terms.
An ideal contract specialist will possess a bachelor's degree or higher in one of numerous possible fields: accounting, business administration, economics, finance, and law to name a few. Certain industries favor candidates with advanced degrees and certifications specific to contract writing, such as the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C). Often, contract specialists begin their careers working as paralegals before specializing in contracts. All contract specialists are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of procurement regulations and legal terminology. Essential skills for this role are excellent command of verbal and written English and a strong attention to detail.
- Prepare contractual agreements using current research methods and a knowledge of a client's needs and ability to fulfill its requirements
- Collaborate with a legal team consisting of lawyers, paralegals, and office staff
- Ensure that the terms of contractual agreements written in language that is legally binding and in accordance with the desires of the client
- Assist clients to fulfill the terms of or to terminate contracts on mutually amicable terms
- Review contract terms and conditions to verify that they are in compliance with company policies and all applicable federal and state regulations
- Clearly explain contract terminology to clients and other interested parties in simple, everyday language
- Self-monitor progress according to the schedule of completion to submit drafts and documents in a timely manner
- Proofread, edit, and fact-check legal documents for accuracy and consistency, according to a style guide if provided by the client
- 2+ years of legal or paralegal experience, preferably working directly with contract law
- 3-level Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) preferred
- Knowledge of current and legally-binding contractual language and terminology
- Willingness to work virtually or in an office setting
- Ability to identify, analyze, and suggest solutions for problems, customer complaints, and client concerns
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including an impeccable mastery of the English language
- Clear adherence to company policies and procurement rules and regulations
- Good organization skills and the ability to multitask on several projects simultaneously
- Knowledge of negotiation best practices, both in-person and in written form, that considers cultural norms and the client's best interests
Principal Contract Specialist Salaries
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Principal Contract Specialist Career Path
Learn how to become a Principal Contract Specialist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
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Principal Contract Specialist Insights
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“While there are many opportunities to advance within the company the starting pay is atrocious.”
Principal Contract Specialist Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Principal Contract Specialist
- Contract Manager
- Business Developer
- Business Development Manager
- Program Manager
The most common qualifications to become a Principal Contract Specialist is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.