A general contractor is a professional who is in charge of making sure that a building project runs smoothly as a whole. They are responsible for hiring and supervising subcontractors, ordering materials, and making sure that the work is completed on time and within budget. In some states, general contractors are required to have a license in order to work on construction projects.
The Steps to Becoming a Licensed General Contractor
The steps to becoming a licensed general contractor vary by state, but there are some general requirements that all states have in place. Becoming a licensed general contractor is a great way to start your own business or take your construction career to the next level.
Follow these five steps to get started:
- Complete an accredited contractor school program.
In order to become a licensed general contractor, you must first complete an accredited contractor school program. There are many programs available, so be sure to do your research to find one that fits your needs and budget.
- Pass the general contractor exam
Once you have completed a contractor school program, you will need to pass the general contractor exam in order to be licensed. The format of the exam varies by state, but it typically covers topics such as safety, general contracting law, and business management.
- Get insurance and bonding
Once you have passed the general contractor exam, you will need to get insurance and bonding in order to protect yourself and your business. Insurance will protect you from liability in the event that something goes wrong with a project, while bonding will protect your clients in the event that you do not complete a project or do not meet the terms of your contract.
- Get experience
While not required, it is always helpful to get some experience working as a general contractor before starting your own business. This will help you learn the ropes and give you a better understanding of what it takes to be successful in this field.
- Start your own general contracting business
Once you have completed the steps above, you will be ready to start your own general contracting business. Be sure to develop a business plan and marketing strategy to help you get started on the right foot.
Traits that Successful Licensed General Contractors Have in Common
In order to be successful as a general contractor, there are a traits you need to have:
An effective leader likely attained that position because of innate talent and drive, but once at the top, he doesn’t settle in his ways. That drive can also be channeled to move an organization forward in a spirit of service to employees, and not self-interest.
- Strong communication skills
Most contractors work with a wide range of other construction professionals and stakeholders, like property owners. Having good communication skills can help these interactions go well and get things done.
A contractor’s work is often complicated, both on the job site and in the office. Being able to be very organized on the job site and in how they run their businesses, is one of the best traits. Keeping your office clean and organized can help your team work well, and keeping detailed records can help your business run smoothly.
- Positivity in the workplace
Creating a positive culture at work can help boost morale and lead to better results. Contractors try to make their workdays fun and help their crews get along. With these tips, your team can work better together, which can help you do well as a contractor.
- Proactive practices in business
Successful contractors often think ahead to plan for problems and come up with ways to deal with them. This is a good quality to have when working on a project and in business. You can adapt to changes and make the best decisions for your contracting business if you think ahead.
The Benefits of Being a General Contractor
There are many benefits that come with being a general contractor. For starters, you’ll be your own boss and have the freedom to work on the construction projects that you’re interested in. You’ll also have the opportunity to grow your business by hiring employees and training them in the contractor trade.
Becoming a general contractor can be a rewarding career choice. With your own business, you’ll be able to work on a variety of construction projects and help bring people’s vision for their home or office to life. Plus, as your business grows, you’ll have the opportunity to hire employees and train them in the contractor trade. If you’re interested in becoming a general contractor, be sure to check out one of the accredited programs listed above.
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