Contractors have unique employment arrangements, but previous research has often grouped them into samples with other contingent workers. As such, research specific to contract workers is relatively sparse and focused on This dissertation focused upon contract workers and the ways in which this type of employment may differ from other contingent and permanent staffing arrangements. Using organizational socialization as a theoretical framework, this project sought to understand how contractors make sense of their experiences and organizational identity within the contemporary work environment. Using a qualitative design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 contractors. The results suggest contractors should be differentiated from standard employees as well as other contingent workers in both research and practice. Even within contract arrangements, important nuances should be recognized and considered related to terminology, independent or agency roles, part-time or full-time work, and other important demographics. Further, the socialization experiences of contractors may be like that of full-time employees, but the most important features of their experiences are those that are unique. Specifically, contractors’ socialization is influenced by its purpose, speed, content, sources, and their previous professional socialization. The results have important implications for questioning and extending socialization theory as well as informing the management and socialization of contract workers.