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What does a Contract Specialist do?

A contract specialist is someone that a company hires to be in charge of the various contracts the company enter into. A contract specialist holds a very important position within the business sector. Some of the duties a contract specialist may have are negotiating and closing business deals, soliciting contracts, acquiring new contracts and evaluating a contract’s performance once the initial deal has been made. A contract specialist may also have to renegotiate and extend contracts, as well as keep a watchful eye on any staff members they may have working with them.

contract specialist

Contract specialists are responsible for interpreting the terms and conditions of a contract accurately along with verifying the credentials of the company with which the contract is being negotiated. The contract specialist ensures the contract terms meet with the policies of the company in which he or she works as well as the guidelines that local and regional policies have set forth.

The level and agency that one would be working for makes a difference in the educational background you must receive to begin a career as a contract specialist. However, some of the general guidelines for becoming a contract specialist are pretty much the same across all positions. In most instances you must complete at least one academic year of college level business courses and coursework. If you would like to work for the federal government as a contract specialist you must obtain a bachelor’s degree. A private sector job usually requires a bachelor’s degree in a business management related field and possibly some paralegal or legal training as well. A few of the courses you may be required to take are: Acquisition of Commercial Items, Contract Claims, Ethics in Federal Contracting, Simplified Acquisition Procedures, and Service Contract Labor Standards Statute Overview.

What does a Creative Director do?

A creative director oversees a creative team and project design and handles presentation concepts. Your creativity, strong communication and management skills, and ability to meet deadlines will provide a strong start for gaining the qualifications you will likely need to be successful in this career.

creative director

Creative director job requirements

Even though creative directors can work in graphic design, film, fashion, media, they are usually found in advertising, where they develop the client’s strategy, assign projects to staff, and meet deadlines. As a creative director, you might help with research or oversee product design, but you may be performing a wide variety of tasks–these can include anything from shaping an entire ad campaign to designing coupons.

Creative directors need strong communication and management skills, since they work with and direct a wide variety of people. They also must be able to make sure projects meet their deadlines and that each client’s needs are met. Flexibility is a must, since travel is often necessary, and some projects may require long hours.

Education for creative directors

Creative directors may need a bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design, or a related field. Coursework will usually be in liberal arts, since many creative directors work in graphic design, film, advertising, media, or entertainment. Being a creative director usually requires at least seven years of experience in one of these industries, because experience is needed to troubleshoot problems and ensure the completion of a successful project.

Creative director jobs

Professionals entering the field can benefit by applying within job sectors hiring the greatest number of creative directors. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that the following were the top three job sectors hiring the most creative directors:

  • Advertising, public relations, and related services
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers

Job growth

Employment as a creative director is expected to grow about as fast as average. But since these positions are coveted, be prepared to compete for one. You also may need to relocate; according to the BLS, the states with the best employment prospects for a creative director are New York, California, Illinois, Texas, and Florida.

What does a Director do?

Directors provide the creative vision for theatrical, broadcast and movie productions. To create scenes that keep audiences involved and entertained, successful directors need a unique combination of talent, creativity, technical, business and management skills.


Directors are responsible for interpretation of the script, guidance of the cast members and management of the entire production from start to finish.

Directors typically audition actors, select cast members, conduct rehearsals and coordinate the activities of the production crew. They make scores of creative decisions:

  • Characterization and movements of the actors
  • Design of sets, costumes, lighting
  • Use of music, sound effects, orchestration, choreography
  • Script changes
  • Camera angles, film editing, special effects
  • Settings or film locations

Depending on the size and type of production, a director might oversee anywhere from a handful of actors up to a “cast of thousands”. Also dependent on the size of the production is the need for assistant directors, who may coordinate activities at a second location or help give cues to actors or crew members. Directors need to keep a close eye on finances and are ultimately accountable to the executive producer for staying within an established budget.

Training for a career as a director

Competition for directing positions is fierce, so formal education is advised. You might pursue a bachelor’s degree in film, theater, radio and television broadcasting, or communications. Some universities offer degrees in film direction. Additional course work might include stage directing, play writing, design or dramatic literature.

Many aspiring directors gain experience in a related field like acting or writing, or learn on-the-job by assisting established directors. Some start their careers with small local or independent productions and progress to larger venues.

New York and Los Angeles may be the “Big Time” for stage, screen and television productions, but you can find directing opportunities across the country in regional theaters, repertory groups, indie film or video companies, local or cable television studios.

Prospective directors can even direct commercials, make corporate or educational videos, or oversee dramatic productions at resorts, universities or community theaters.

Career outlook for directors

Employment for directors is expected to grow at a rate of about 10 percent, as reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics. Continued development of interactive media, portable electronic devices, online movies and cable television operations should fuel the need for directors.

It’s worth noting that many directors’ salaries are covered by collective bargaining through unions like Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC) for stage directors and Director’s Guild of America for film and television directors.