Engineering Career Resources

Contracts Engineer Job Description

Contracts Engineer Job Description

Contracts engineers are engineering specialists whose job is to supervise projects and make sure that the contract terms address all the client's requirements. Their main responsibilities are to develop, implement and review contracts, make sure that best practices are applied on any given project, and to make all the revisions available to all the parties involved in the project. Contracts engineers can also consult with technical staff on various products and applications, manage sub-contract labour and suppliers, handle complaints from the client, and deal with any issues that may compromise the project start and completion date, payment of contract, invoicing, non-chargeable expenses, as well as any labour or equipment costs that may exceed the budget for the project.

Construction projects are accomplished within the context of a relationship that is governed by a contract. A contract defines the expectations and responsibilities in the relationship. A contract for construction establishes a relationship between two entities, usually identified as the Owner and the Contractor. The owner requires the construction of a structure or other physical feature in order to facilitate activities that pertain to its primary purpose while the contractor is an entity deemed to have the capacity to perform the work necessary to realize the Owner’s goals. Because this type of contract includes technical elements, an engineer is utilized for the purpose of converting the Owner’s expectations into construction documents that, when followed by the Contractor, will result in the realization of the Owner’s expectations. A critical member of the engineer’s team is the contracts engineer who is tasked with framing the construction documents into a contract.

Skills and qualifications

The contracts engineer is one of the more experienced members of the team, having a background in both engineering design and construction inspection. This experience includes an intimate acquaintance with previous contractual relationships, both good and bad. This individual will be competent in the use of written language, as well in consultation with members of the legal profession, as a contract must be legally defensible to be enforceable. The contracts engineer will verify that the owner's expectations are articulated in the construction documents, as well as establish criteria for successful task completion within the project.


A contracts engineer typically works under a project manager in a supervisory role and makes sure that all the technical acitivities are in line with the terms agreed upon in the contract and that they meet the business requirements.

On a routine basis the contracts engineer will be consulted by the design team to provide appropriate terms and conditions for specific activities as project specifications are developed. The contracts engineer is the individual who is responsible for reviewing the final construction documents to determine whether these are ready for advertising for the purpose of soliciting bids. In addition, the contracts engineer is often called upon to render an opinion regarding compliance with contract documents should a dispute arise. A great deal of responsibility is placed upon the contracts engineer in the development and execution of a construction project.