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Construction Contracts Manager

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

Construction Contracts Manager

The Work

Construction contracts managers help to win building and refurbishment contracts, and manage projects through to completion, keeping them on time and within budget. Contracts could include commercial office developments, public-sector housing regeneration or road and rail engineering works.

As a contracts manager, you might be responsible for a single large contract or a number of smaller ones. You would also be the main point of contact for clients, site managers and building contractors throughout the life of a project.

Your main responsibilities would include:

  • meeting with clients to get a fuller idea of their needs
  • putting together estimates, including budgets and timescales
  • preparing and presenting documents for tenders
  • contributing to work planning, and briefing project teams, contractors and suppliers
  • agreeing any additional work to be done within set timescales
  • gathering all information together for invoicing at the end of the project
  • supplying information to resolve disputes if they arise
  • identifying areas for improvement in existing contracting processes.

You would work closely with other construction professionals including construction managers, quantity surveyors and planning engineers.

Hours and Environment

You would normally work between 35 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

You would be mainly office based, but would make regular site and client visits. Some employers may offer opportunities for travel throughout the UK and overseas.

Skills and Interests

  • good knowledge and understanding of construction and issues such as building regulations and planning
  • commercial awareness
  • good organisational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects
  • the ability to establish and maintain good working relationships
  • strong maths and IT skills
  • the ability to work both on your own and as part of a team
  • the ability to work to deadlines
  • good problem-solving skills
  • excellent communication, presentation and negotiating skills
  • an understanding of health and safety issues.


You normally need experience of working with contracts, or a background in engineering or construction management to get into this career. Experience in building site management or quantity surveying may also be acceptable. If you have project management experience from other industries, you may be able to use this to move into the construction sector.

Alternatively, you could start out as a contracts assistant or administrator with a construction company, working your way up to contracts manager after gaining experience in the industry.

College courses, such as a BTEC HNC/HND or degree, may help you to get a place on a company training programme, either as a contracts assistant or construction manager. You should choose a course that covers contracts and contract law. Relevant subjects include:

  • building studies and building engineering
  • surveying and civil engineering
  • construction engineering management
  • building management.

To search for colleges and universities offering these courses, visit the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website.

You are likely to need a driving licence for visiting sites and clients.


If you join a company as a trainee, you would normally start on their in-house training programme. These are designed to give you experience of all areas of the business, for example estimating, planning and buying. Once you have built up your knowledge and experience, you would move into contracts management.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has a range of professional training programmes which you can follow to develop your career, including a Graduate Diploma Programme. They also support work-based NVQ qualifications, such as:

  • Construction Site Supervision Level 3
  • Project Control at levels 3 and 4
  • Construction Contracting Operations at levels 3 and 4
  • Construction Senior Management Level 5.

The CIOB has information on training in all aspects of construction, including project management, contracts, construction law and regulations. See the CIOB website for more details.


You could find work with central and local government departments, companies in the building industry, utility companies and larger organisations like major retailers.

With experience, you could progress into general construction management, consultancy or become a company director. There are also opportunities in support services, such as health and safety inspection. You may be able to use your knowledge of the contracting process to move into other sectors.

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Annual Income

  • Typical salaries range from 25,000 to 45,000 a year.
  • Senior contracts managers can earn over 50,000 and a year.

The job often comes with a car allowance and other additional benefits.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.


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