Politics and Business

How to Become a Construction Contractor

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Contractors are their own boss. They work independently, providing goods and services to people under a written or verbal contract, rather than with an organization. They study, get licensed, and land opportunities based on their knowledge and experience. Sounds pretty awesome right?

To find out a little more about what exactly this position entails, here’s a complete guide for becoming a contractor.

What is a Construction Contractor?

Although the term ‘contractor’ refers to any individual who self-represents and works based on individual contracts rather than as a salaried employee, it is often used within the context of the construction industry. In this article, we will be focusing on construction contractors.

Construction contractors are people that manage a construction project. This includes repairs, renovations, and projects completely from scratch. The work itself ranges from huge industrial buildings to residential homes. Although they often do this independently, they might be hired by construction companies to work on specific projects.

Because contractors are the big decision-makers behind construction projects, their insight has impact. Therefore, it is important that contractors have a lot of training. You can’t just dive head-first into the industry. You need to be willing to be work hard, get a lot of training and dedicate a lot of time to gaining experience, degrees and education to become a contractor.

Three Ways to Become a Contractor 

1. Get a License

Acquiring a Contractor License is the only way to become a professional as fast as possible. This license is a legal requirement in most states, and it is the only way you’ll get to work on certain contracts like public buildings.

There are several licensing agencies that you can go through to get your license, and while it might involve a little more training and be somewhat costly, it is a worthwhile investment!

2. Look into College Degrees

Whilst college degrees aren’t make-or-break if you want to become a contractor, they definitely help. They can teach you crucial leadership skills, give you knowledge you will need once you’re a fully-fledged contractor, and help you stand out in a sea of competitors.

A lot of contractors have their high school diploma and work experience, so why not give yourself that extra edge? You can even get certificates in niche areas such as carpentry or painting, which gives you practical knowledge as well as a boosted resume!

There are hundreds of suitable college degrees for aspiring contractors out there, but some of the most popular ones are listed below:

  • Building science
  • Architecture
  • Construction science
  • Construction engineering
  • Construction management

3. Gain Some Work Experience or On-Site Training

Something as important as education in this industry is experience. You can start by being a construction laborer to learn the basic skills. Or, you could work in specific areas of construction like carpentry or masonry to help you learn the ins-and-outs of a specific niche. There are also a lot of internships for aspiring contractors, but they are often competitive.

A good alternative route is to combine practical experience with education. You can do this by becoming the assistant or apprentice of a well-established contractor. They will be able to tell you what you need to know and give you the skills and experience necessary for you to progress.

Bottom Line

As lucrative as being a contractor is, getting certified isn’t a walk in the park. You will still have to work hard to get to a position where you’re being recommended for jobs. However, once you get there, you’ll enjoy this independent position and never regret leaving your desk job.

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