Career profile: Contracts engineer

Contracts engineers handle the business side of engineering.Contracts engineers handle the business side of engineering.

What is a contracts engineer?

Contracts engineers manage an engineering firm’s contracts with its customers. This can include:

  • managing the schedule and budget
  • communicating with customers to make sure they are happy and answer any questions
  • reporting on the project to other parts of the firm
  • managing engineers
  • handling any sub-contracts (work which is passed on to another firm)

They may also be responsible for negotiating new deals.

The exact nature of the work will vary from job to job. Some contracts engineers do more practical engineering work, while others are focussed more on management.

Junior contracts engineers can expect to earn around £25-27,000 a year, and this will increase with experience.

Becoming a contracts engineer

Contracts engineers need knowledge and experience of both engineering and business. The balance between these will depend on the specific role: for some, a degree in either subject might be accepable, whereas others might only accept a qualified engineer. In some cases, an HND or HNC might be enough.

In more engineering-focused roles, you’ll normally need to have studied the relevant branch of engineering. If the focus is on business, experience of the specific sector will still be very useful, but may not be necessary for a junior role.

You’ll also need excellent communication skills, and may need a full driver’s licence so that you can travel to and from sites.

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