Career Path In Contract Management

Career Path


Start Here:

Beginner Level

(People at this level deal with low-dollar, low-risk types of contract and agreements)


  • Work under the supervision of an Expert Practitioner
  • Take basic courses in Contract Law, Contract Administration, Cost and Price Analysis
  • Attend chapter events and network with people in the profession
  • Volunteer to be on a chapter committee


Skills to Enter the Profession
Job Descriptions (Beginner)



Then go here:


Journeyman Level (Three or more years of experience)


(People here are doing slightly more complex buying/selling. Contracts will be non-routine, requiring more independent thought and judgment)


  • Work under the supervision of an Expert Practitioner or Manager
  • Take advanced courses in Contract Administration, Cost and Price Analysis, etc.
  • Study for NCMA Certification (Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) or Certified Commercial Contracts Manager (CCCM), as appropriate
  • Be considered for a limited Contracting Officer warrant (Federal Employee)
  • Volunteer to help lead your NCMA chapter, get leadership experience!
  • Consider the Contract Management Leadership Development program (minimum 4 years experience)



Progress to:


Expert Practitioner

(Very high strategic impact to corporation or agency. Responsible for managing critical contractual formation and management, obligations of high risk and visibility. Requires high degree of independent and creative judgment applied to highest-level goals and objectives of the corporation or agency)

  • Work under supervision of corporate/agency Manager
  • Complete graduate work (MBA) or other relevant studies
  • Receive unlimited Contracting Officer warrant (Federal Employee)
  • Serve a term as President or other executive officer of your NCMA chapter



Move up to:


(Requires the technical knowledge of an Expert Practitioner plus the ability to manage and mentor subordinates and interface with senior executives.)

  • Report to a senior executive
  • Enhance abilities by continuous learning in technical and management topics
  • Serve as an advisor to your local NCMA Chapter
  • Earn Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) certification



End up here:


Senior Executive

(Responsible for managing contract professionals at highest levels. Directs the activities of contract professionals including highly complex contractual arrangements of strategic importance to corporate or agency. Directs identification, development and implementation of entire range of contract formation, negotiation and administration policies and processes in accordance with customer expectations and corporate/agency objectives)


  • Speak at an NCMA National Event
  • Serve on an NCMA national committee
  • Mentor your chapter or a Contract Management Leadership Development Program Student