3 Quick Facts on Compensation for Contract Professionals

Knowing compensation facts can help you get a better job offer or even get better compensation at your current job. Hard, credible numbers are tough to refute in any negotiation.

The Facts

Overall, compensation (meaning salaries, benefits and bonuses) in the contracts field is pretty nice. The National Contracts Management Association does a nice job surveying its members every year on a whole slew of data, including compensation. The most recent data comes from the 2008 survey.

While the Executive Summary is packed full of information, three important findings are summarized below.

Where the Best Pay Is: The averaged best pay comes organizations with budgets of less than $1 million and more than $501 million. This means you should expect the best pay (on average) at very small and very large organizations. Keep that in mind for your searches.
Salary by Experience: Those with less than five years experience averaged a salary of about $60,000 per year. That’s pretty good, especially when bonuses and benefits are not accounted for.
Benefits Overview: 90% of respondents get a 401K or something like it, some kind of healthcare, and vacation leave. 75% get the benefits above and more like vision, dental and life insurance. Know these numbers so you don’t accept a bad offer. If you don’t get these benefits, you can use these numbers to make a case for benefits to your boss.
If you read the rest of the 2008 Salary Survey, you will be enlightened. I promise you.

These stats will play into the next post, which will be about understanding why contract professionals get paid so well.

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I’m excited for the next post as well. My theory is that if the gov’t is spending a lot of money on large contracts…we need some really top notch contract professionals that are paid accordingly. They can be the difference in saving an extra 1 or 10 or 20 million dollars and we should make sure they are incentivized to do great contracting.