Subcontracts Administrator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 12, 2019

Subcontracts administrators identify the needs of business or company and carry out the process of obtaining whatever that need is. They need at least a bachelor's degree in business administration and have the option of obtaining certification. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an average job growth in this field through 2024.

Essential Information

Subcontracts administrators (SCAs) are responsible for the procurement of materials, equipment or services that support a company's business effort. They manage the entire lifecycle of the subcontract, including identifying their company's specific needs, researching and negotiating with possible sources, and deciding which provider to select as the subcontractor. In order to become an SCA, a bachelor's degree in business administration and several years of work experience in a purchasing or procurement position is often necessary.

Required Education Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Other Requirements Related work experience; voluntary certification available
Median Salary (2018) $96,180 (for all administrative services managers)*
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)  7% growth (for all administrative services managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Subcontracts Administrator Duties

SCAs respond to purchase requisitions by defining and justifying the expense. Bids and proposals are solicited from existing sources or new sources through advertisements in trade publications. Subcontracts administrators evaluate terms and award the subcontract. During a subcontract, the SCA is responsible for monitoring the terms of the subcontract including progress, plans, invoices and payments. Any change orders, modifications or disputes are addressed by the SCA.

Requirements for Subcontracts Administrators

According to February 2011 job postings in, SCAs must have strong leadership, negotiation, communication and interpersonal skills. Since many companies contract with the government, knowledge of regulatory guidelines, particularly provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation is often required. Proficiency with business software programs and automated accounting systems is also necessary.

Education Requirements

Most opportunities for SCAs require several years of experience in addition to a bachelor's degree in business administration. Bachelor's degree programs provide necessary coursework in accounting, business law, human resources and computer applications. Some entry-level jobs as a purchasing agent or procurement specialist may provide the necessary experience.

The Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) designation from the Institute for Supply Management , as well as the Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) designation from the National Contracts Management Association are respected qualifications and desired for senior SCAs. To qualify for CPSM exams, SCAs must hold a bachelor's degree, three years of experience and pass three examinations. The CPCM designation requires an undergraduate degree, one year of work experience and passing scores on the CPCM exam.

Salary and Job Outlook

The BLS reported in 2018 that administrative services managers, including subcontracts administrators, made a median annual salary of $86,110. Additionally, the BLS projected that there will be a faster-than-average increase of 7% in administrative services jobs over the 2018-2028 decade.

Those who are interested in becoming a subcontracts administrator will want to earn a B.S. in business administration and work at a relevant entry-level position for a few years to gain experience. Many employers also look for candidates who know how to use business software programs and accounting systems. Earning CPSM or CPCM designation through the National Contracts Management Association is another good way to build credibility with potential employers.

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