Contracts Administrator – Your building and construction career path?
Is it time for a career change? Or are you ready to up-skill yourself for the next challenge?
If you are already working in the Australian construction industry, but are drawn to a more administrative role, the path of contract administration might be right for you. For those who are interested, there is a variety of online training that can be undertaken to equip you for the demands of this role.
But first, what is contract administration all about?
What does a contracts administrator do?
The role of the Contracts Administrator is to manage the contracts in line with approved company plans and procedures, to achieve the outcomes of contractual obligations. The Contacts Administrator or CA, will audit proposals, both new and existing, and develop contracts that fit the scope of each proposal. It is a highly skilled job that requires a good understanding of the key elements of construction contracts, and common issues that arise with their delivery.
A CA will keep a database (usually in the form of an excel spreadsheet) to track the progress of all contracts to ensure that all work is carried out with the appropriate speed, accuracy, insurances and certifications. It is also their responsibility to ensure that all contracts are reviewed and renewed before they expire.
A Contract Administrator will also be responsible for reviewing insurance requirements, and ensuring that all forms and approvals are in place before construction begins. For this reason, it is a high responsibility job that requires working with many external stakeholders such as local government, lawyers, architects, client side project managers and of course, other contractors.
Some construction administrators are also responsible for reviewing payment requests from contractors and administering or approving payments. This is usually done in conjunction with the Project Manager, or the accounts department.
When it comes to bidding/tendering, the Contract Administrator manages the bidding process and sources cost estimates from contractors and suppliers to secure the best offers, ensuring that contracts are executed cost effectively and to budget. They also need to record and maintain a filing system for all receipts pertaining to vendors, materials and services for each job that can be reviewed at the end of a project against the budget and help inform decisions for future projects.
If any disagreements arise between the parties of a contract, the Contracts Administrator is the first point of call and will attempt to interpret the terms of the contract to resolve any issues before seeking external help.
What skills does a contract administrator need?
The position of the Contract Administrator is an often demanding, yet rewarding role. It is particularly suited to those who work well in ‘big picture’ situations and like to have ownership over a project from start to finish. Due to the many different aspects of the role, these individuals need to be highly organised with the ability to multi-task effectively, and work towards deadlines.
A Contract Administrator needs to be able to work well under pressure, and to balance competing demands. The Contract Administrator is the foundation of every project, as the contract is the base upon which all over work is built. For this reason, these individuals need to have the ability to think quickly, problem solve, and make decisions that are well informed and follow a logical trajectory.
A CA must have a high attention to detail, as they will be processing large amounts of information and need to ensure all important aspects of a contract are recorded accurately. They will need to be able to read for long periods of time without losing concentration and translate complex information into achievable tasks. Additionally, a CA should have exceptional computer skills with a good grasp on up to date technology, as this role is primarily executed from behind the desk.
Finally, a CA needs to have excellent communication skills; this is perhaps the most important aspect of the role. They must be able to confidently carry out negotiations, deal with a wide variety of stakeholders from all different walks of life (such as government, legal professionals, tradesmen, sub-contractors and suppliers) and build meaningful and lasting relationships within each group. They should be able to manage conflict if it arises in a confident and assertive manner, while still maintaining positive relationships for the company.
A Contract Administrator role is extremely varied and suits those who like to work in a fast-paced position carrying out a wide range of tasks. However, it is an office role, so is not for those who prefer the hustle and bustle of the job site.
What are the relevant qualifications?
If contract administration sounds like the right path for you, a construction course can help you stand out from other applicants in these highly sought-after roles. Usually when advertised, these positions attract hundreds of applicants with construction industry experience, so a formal qualification is extremely important in securing a role.
A Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Contracts Administration) is an ideal qualification that will give you the skills you need to excel as a contracts administrator. These courses are built on real-world scenarios and will complement your existing construction industry knowledge with practical projects and relevant information regarding the complexities of the role, including legislative requirements, codes and approvals.
These online training courses are designed to meet the demands of those wishing to work in small to medium construction companies, either commercial or residential. Students will learn how to process client requirements into contractual form, read and interpret construction plans, and complete applications for building approvals. Topics such as building codes and standards, resource procurement and contract law will also be covered.
What are you waiting for?
If you are ready to take the next step towards becoming a qualified CA, then Back to Basics are here to help. Our Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Contracts Administration) (course code: cpc40208)is specifically designed to prepare you for a Contract Administrator role. This is a 12 month nationally recognised training course.
If you have any questions about the course or would like to discuss payment and enrolment options, give our friendly and knowledgeable team a call today.