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A contracts manager identifies, secures and manages projects and contracts. They share their expertise and knowledge to make sure all the requirements of a project are met on time and within specification.

Average salaries are in the region of £26,000.00 to £30,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

A contracts manager identifies, secures and manages projects and contracts. They share their expertise and knowledge to make sure all the requirements of a project are met on time and within specification.

What they do

Working in construction as a contracts manager also involves looking at ways to improve the contract process, deal with any issues that arise throughout a contract and agree to any additional work.

Typical duties include: 

  • Meeting with clients, finding out their requirements
  • Developing and presenting proposals for the project
  • Agreeing budgets and timescales with the clients
  • Acting as the main point of contact for clients, site and project managers. 

A contracts manager usually works in the office, with site and client visits. This construction job could also allow you to specialise within a particular area. For example, a shopfitting contracts manager may oversee projects, including:

  • Office developments
  • Retail outlets
  • Leisure facilities
  • Interior heritage projects


  • Newly trained contracts managers can earn in the region of £24,800 - £31,000
  • Trained with experience contracts managers can earn in the region of £31,000 - £46,000
  • Senior, chartered or master contracts managers can earn in the region of £46,000 - £57,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status. 

Use our Careers Explorer A-Z to find out about construction roles available.

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Case Study

Brian Murphy is a contracts manager for Lafarge Tarmac, working on local authority highway works maintenance.

How did you get started?

I started my first job in the construction industry after GCSEs as a draftsperson. I then became a senior technician and a site agent. From there I moved to senior site agent, then area manager and now contracts manager. It was a natural progression to follow. I have worked for a design sub-contractor, Leicestershire County Council and now for Lafarge Tarmac.

What do you like about your role?

I love the variety of the job. No day is the same.

What’s your working day like?

I start about 7am. I generally do a quick site visit on the way to the office to check on resource and planning with the construction manager. My day then involves site meetings for future projects, assisting the commercial team, preparing risk assessments and safety files, liaising with clients, checking sub-contractors for safety and quality of work, auditing and competency checks.

What skills do you need in your job?

Apart from vocational and academic qualifications I’ve got a Construction Skills Competency Card (CSCS) card, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), first aid, and a management qualification.

Soft skills such as communication, planning and time management are important along with a good knowledge of maths. Most contracts managers have wide experience of jobs in the construction industry.

What are you most proud of in your job?

I am proud of the relationships I have built within the industry. It is also good to complete a project on time and within budget.

Any advice on how to get into construction?

It can be fairly easy to get started in trainee construction jobs but it’s good to keep on training and progressing. Don’t stand still for too long. You get out what you put in so grasp opportunities and go for it! 

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which of the many construction careers is right for you

Qualifications & Training

There are no set qualifications, though employers will usually look for an HNC/HND or a degree in a subject such as project management, construction management or engineering.

You could become a contracts manager after gaining experience in other construction careers, such as construction management jobs and construction project management jobs.

You could also be considered from other industries if you have a background in project or contract management.

You would need to carry out continued professional development through seminars and training events.

Visit our Mythbuster to learn about some of the misconceptions surrounding construction jobs and construction apprenticeships


Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful:

Careers in construction 

The number of jobs vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.


Career trends and forecasts

4,780 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 4,780 senior, executive, and business process managers (which includes contracts managers) to meet demand between 2017 -2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of the demand for these construction jobs is in the South West followed by Greater London.

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