Things to Consider When Becoming a Contractor

Like any other professional niche, general contracting implies endless learning, hands-on experience, and the ability to navigate the many standards and regulations within its respective industry.

With this career path, one isn’t just picking a job—they’re choosing to lead projects from the ground up while having the privilege of impacting entire communities through their work.

Becoming a general contractor is not easy, and we’re here to help cover the essentials, highlighting the knowledge and tools you need to embark on this promising and highly lucrative career.

What’s a General Contractor?

Simply put, a general contractor does what a ship captain does for its crew. Replace the ship with a construction project, and there you have it. This qualified expert is tasked with ensuring that everything is done according to the book.

Their work involves just about evry facet of the project, from budget allocation to managing all manner of experts, such as plumbers and electricians. A general contractor sees everything and controls everything on-site within his gaze’s reach. That’s why the process of becoming a general contractor is so intricate to begin with.

Essentially, the job is to ensure that any project, be it a new building or a remodeled renovation, is carried out on time and without any unexpected surprises.

Get Your Feet Wet

Where should you begin when embarking on this career path? It all starts with the basics. In this case, the basics of construction.

Getting the right degree can accumulate all the required knowledge, and in the case of construction—it’s an absolute must! Construction management should be your top pick, and you could get your hands dirty with the on-the-job training that so many companies gladly offer newcomers right now.

Entry-level jobs and apprenticeships also have a huge potential for helping newbies gain the expertise they lack from the get-go.

Helpful Resources:

  • The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) provides a wealth of information and networking opportunities. Visit AGC.
  • For training opportunities, check out the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) at NABTU.

License Up!

Working as a general contractor requires a license. To get one, you must pass an exam and meet certain requirements, which vary depending on your location.In some cases, you will need to demonstrate at least some proven experience in the field, and in other scenarios, you will need insurance to get started.

Helpful Resources:

  • The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) outlines state licensing requirements. Explore NASCLA for details.

Sketch Your Blueprint

how to become contrator

Starting any business requires a plan, and general contracting is no exception.

Just like any construction project itself, your career starts with a sketch that will eventually turn into a fully-fledged work of art. To make it so, you’ll need to figure out the projects you’re most ready to work with.

Budgeting is among the top priorities that should also be considered. After all, you’re only as good as the tools you have, and better gear equals better results.

Helpful Resources:

  • SCORE offers free mentoring and education for entrepreneurs. They can help you craft a business plan. Visit SCORE.

Craft Your Reputation

Good reputation precedes you, and that’s a fact.

Building such a reputation requires a lot of work, plenty of networking, and a firm willingness to build robust customer relationships.

Enrolling in professional associations from your niche will boost your credibility, and as an additional perk, it offers great networking opportunities.

Helpful Resources:

  • The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) offers networking and certification programs. Visit CMAA.

Never Stop Learning

Consider additional certifications or continuing education courses to keep up with new technologies and industry standards.

Just as any other industry these days, the construction industry is evolving by the hour.

Hence, staying informed and learning all the time is pivotal for success in general contracting.

Get additional certifications, improve your qualifications, and find new educational courses to keep up with all the latest trends and advancements.

Helpful Resources:

  • The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) has certification programs to enhance your skills. Check out AIC.

Make Use of Available Resources

As you consider your career path and consider becoming a general contractor, every resource you have at your disposal might help you reach that goal faster.

Seek advice from industry veterans, attend workshops, and stay current on the latest construction trends. Every detail counts, and every piece of information could be essential for succeeding in the niche.

Helpful Resources:

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a fantastic source for business advice and financial guidance. Dive into SBA’s resources.

Embrace Technology

general contractor

Technology is actively infiltrating every facet of our daily lives. The construction industry is no different.

From project management software and tools that optimize the entire endeavor to advanced digital solutions that enhance accuracy and on-site effectiveness, using the cutting edge of technology will always put you above and beyond the competition.

Helpful Resources:

  • The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) is an excellent resource for construction professionals. Visit NICET.

Wrapping Up

A general contractor does far more than simply manage construction sites. The job is about being a leader and creating structures that will last for ages.

Sure, it takes plenty of time, effort, and determination, but general contracting is a rewarding career that will never leave you unemployed. Success in this field, like in everything else, is built on blood, sweat, and respect. Merge knowledge, experience, and continuous growth to forge your own career journey and become a contractor.

If you’re already one, perhaps you need assistance expanding your customer base and finding new work. At AroundWire, we have just the thing for you—a one-stop-shop in the world of gig hunting. We’re talking about a user-friendly digital platform that gives access to thousands of general contracting opportunities nationwide. Finding new customers has never been easier than it is with AroundWire.

Additional Resources

Check these links if you’re serious about a career in general contracting or wish to take the next big step in your professional growth.

More From This Topic