How to Bid on DOD Contractor Jobs

If you’re looking for DOD contractor jobs, you’re in the right market. Every year, the United States spends more than $500 billion on government contracts.

This amount is almost the size of Sweden’s economy. Bidding on DOD contracts is a great way to expand your business and make a lot of money in the process.

Some even consider DOD contracting to be a patriotic duty. Learning how to bid on DOD contracts isn’t a tough process. In fact, it’s a pretty straightforward process.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about DOD contract bidding.

What are Government Contracts?

Government contracts are projects started by the United States. The United States is designed to operate as a company. Usually, they hire contractors to build roads and design government websites.

They also hire contractors when developing government-sponsored software. Hiring contractors is beneficial for the United States in two ways. 

The first is that hiring contractors helps the government save money versus hiring full-time staff. Second, the government can offer lucrative contracts to its citizens. 

The United States encourages all qualified contractors and small businesses to apply to its DOD jobs.

Make Sure Your Business is Qualified

Some contractors see DOD jobs as an easy, money-making opportunity. In reality, the government is very selective about which contractors they’ll award DOD contracts.

According to the General Services Administration (GSA), these small businesses have the best chances of winning bids:

  • Contractors with at least two years of experience handling government contracts
  • Businesses that already have relationships with federal contractors
  • Businesses that are mentored by a successful federal contractor
  • Contractors that take part in GSA workshops and seminars
  • Businesses that invest at least $80,000 in finding DOD jobs

You should also watch out for mandates if you plan on applying for specific government contracts. For example, bidding on defense contractors requires you to follow DFARS IT requirements. You can learn more about these requirements here.

If you’re concerned about if your business qualifies for DOD contracts, don’t worry. The GSA even offers a readiness assessment so you can see if you qualify.

Setup Your Business as a Vendor

Now, here comes the meat and potatoes of the DOD contract bidding process. To submit a proposal for a bid, you’ll first need to register your business as a vendor.

There are many platforms the U.S. government uses to advertise its contracts. The most popular one is the System for Award Management (SAM) platform.

Before you can register on the SAM platform, you must first register as a federal government contractor. To do that, you’ll need to apply for a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.

A DUNS number is nine digits long and used to track your:

  • Physical location
  • Creditworthiness
  • Success on past contracts

Once you’re finished, you can go ahead and register for the SAM platform. To do this, you’ll need to find out your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

This unique code describes:

  • Your business’ basic details
  • The products or services you provide
  • Your industry

You’re required to register on SAM if you want to secure a government contract. In fact, the government can even reach out to you and offer a contract if you’re in the database.

Finally, you’ll need to include a capability statement in your application. This is basically a resume that shows you’re qualified to take on any government contract.

It will include details about your company’s ownership, size, and location. If you don’t know how to format your capability statement, you can check the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website for templates.

Start Looking for DOD Contractor Jobs

Once you’re fully registered as a federal contractor, it’s time to start bidding for DOD jobs. Here are a bunch of platforms you can check for DOD contracting opportunities:


SAM is the official platform where contractors can bid for DOD jobs. The government is also known for selecting contractors based on their NAICS codes.

If all your information is accurate, SAM will be the best platform to start bidding on government jobs.

The Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS)

The U.S. government uses this database to find small businesses for future contracts. The platform is hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

You can even use the DSBS to find similar contractors and partner with them on contracts.

This platform can be a potential gold mine for qualified contractors. That’s because government agencies are required to advertise jobs on this platform over $25,000.

This is an example of how you can rely on other platforms (other than SAM) to secure government projects.

The GSA Schedules Program

This is a program that unites contractors with government buyers. When you join the program, you’ll be able to do business with the government. You may even learn some helpful tips to win more bids and outclass your competitors. 


If you’re interested in subcontracting once you’ve secured a government contractor, this platform is for you. SubNet provides a marketplace for large enterprises to partner with small businesses.

Using this platform provides a great opportunity for you to partner with a large business if you don’t have any experience with DOD contracts.

Read the Proposal Guidelines Carefully

After you choose a platform, it’s important to view the proposal guidelines carefully. Proposal guidelines are found in a request for proposal (RFP).

A government will post an RFP on a platform to solicit help from contractors. Inside, they’ll list a variety of rules to follow when you submit your proposal.

The U.S. government isn’t like private sector clients. They are notoriously strict on details. Making sure your proposal meets their requirements will help you avoid rejection later.

Consider Using a Bidding Service

If you’ve decided that you don’t have the time or patience to follow this process, you can always use a bidding service. A bidding service automatically provides you with information about relevant contract opportunities. 

Hiring a bidding service can basically automate the bidding process. This way, you can spend more time getting your proposals and bids ready for acceptance. 

Learn More Business Tips

As you can see, securing DOD contractor jobs isn’t a difficult process. Following all of the information above can help you register as a vendor and bid for government contracts. 

Do you want to learn more helpful businesses tips to improve your company? If so, check out our blog for more relevant articles.