Businesses – Getting Started & Next Steps

How to Become a General Contractor

General contractor are also called construction managers and their duty is to oversee and coordinate construction projects from start to finish. Their duties include managing the project budget, choosing materials, hiring and supervising contractors and laborers, keeping the project on track, problem-solving and liaising with other professionals like engineers and architects. It is a known fact that as they go about their duties, they need to ensure that the structure complies with all the relevant safety codes and regulations that apply to it.

It is important to highlight that the market rates for a construction manager are $97,510 depending on a variety of factors such as the level of education thus having an associate or bachelor’s degree enables someone to command better pay. Experience is also a requirement and most jobs require construction managers to have at least two of experience. It is worth noting that general contractors also need to excel in other soft skills such as communication, decision-making, time management, personal initiative, and ability to meet deadlines in the time allocated.

When it comes to being a contractor the the first step is to get an associate degree in construction management or construction technology, which could increase the marketability of the individual in the building industry. The beauty with an associate degrees is that it incorporate other topics like project scheduling, accounting, building codes and contracts. An amazing fact to note is that in the course students also learn things like finishing, roofing, framing, reading blue prints, estimating project costs, using construction tools and operating machinery. An associate degree can open doors to entry-level work, or the same knowledge can be used to advance further and get a degree.

The second step is to get management experience by working under an experienced general contractor, which enables the trainee to get valuable on-the-job training o duties like overseeing purchase orders, collecting documents, tracking permits and keeping contractors aware of any problems.

The third step would be to obtain certification from the relevant local authorities in the state that one has trained in. One can also opt to be nationally certified which demonstrates that the contractor has the required knowledge and skills to work in any state. A national certification, called the certified construction manager credential is offered through the Construction Management Association of America. To get this certification applicants must do a self-study course then pass an exam. Apart from the mandatory certifications, there are other certifications increase the competency of the general contractor.

These are just some of the necessary steps towards being a general contractor.
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