A construction contractor is an individual who provides independent and professional services to third-party employers in the construction industry.
Construction contractors plan, monitor, and manage various construction projects, like residential, commercial, or public work projects. In addition, construction contractors are also supposed to obtain building permits and licenses for the projects.
Most of the contractors own their own businesses and are self-employed. This job requires hectic travel across various construction sites, which can be fairly stressful due to the unexpected delays, project deadlines, and overtime requirements.
This article offers a step-by-step guide on how to become a successful construction contractor.
Step-By-Step Guide to Become a Construction Contractor
The basic steps one must follow to become a construction contractor are explained below:
Step 1: Obtain a Degree Related to Construction Technology
A relevant education degree plays a significant role in becoming a licensed contractor. One must hold a high school diploma or an associate degree in order to become a licensed contractor. An associate degree purely based on construction technology is important for gaining more expertise in the field. It highlights one’s profile to make them more marketable to prospective customers.
Short-term courses that focus on business practices, finance, tax regulation, and local zoning ordinances can boost job opportunities for a contractor.
Step 2: Gain Position, Experience, and Skill in Construction
Some construction contractors obtain a contractor’s license solely based on their heavy experience in the construction industry. The minimum experience varies across different countries, but generally, it is not less than three years in construction jobs.
The level of experience mentioned here is the experience gained by licensed contractors in various residential or commercial projects. Many individuals start working under a general contractor or construction contractor which makes them more exposed to real-world situations.
The construction contractors gain knowledge of various construction practices and building regulations during their education or industry experience. Above these key skills specific to the construction industry, some of the soft skills a construction contractor must possess are written and verbal skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, supervisory skills, and time management.
Step 3: Create Business Plan
A construction contractor, before obtaining a license, must develop a sound business plan. The contractor’s business plan must include several elements like the scope of work, the financial aspects, and all the necessary information to ensure the feasibility and profitability of the contracting business over time.
The initial step towards the success of a construction contractor is to identify what specialty one must focus on. For example, a contractor with more experience in electrical work or mechanical works must focus on these skills to set themselves apart from other contractors in the business. A contractor can also choose between the type of project, ranging from a large commercial project to a small residential project.
Regardless of the specialization a contractor chooses to work on, it is essential to have a proper business plan to obtain a clear path for running the business.
Step 4: Obtain a Contracting License
All construction contractors are required to obtain a professional license. The procedure for obtaining a contractor's license is mainly dependent on the state and local municipal regulations. The requirements may vary, but most of them call for an educational background and professional experience. Some countries require the candidate to go through professional training and pass a test before providing the contractor’s license.
Step 5: Managing Contracting Business
A successful contractor should consistently manage the contracting business so that they earn a strong reputation for the construction work. Proper management of a contracting business requires several steps like:
- Reviewing finances
- Maintaining contractor's license
- Staying up-to-date with contractor regulations and standards
- Maintain quality in construction practices without any disputes
Once an individual has acquired the level of education, experience, skill, and legal license to become a construction contractor, they can start their own business or work for established construction companies.
Industry certification is not mandatory for contractors, but it is useful to assure the customers that industry guidelines and standards are being followed. All certification programs require a certain level of education and experience. Certification can help in uplifting the business standards and hence contribute to becoming a successful contractor.
A construction contractor is an individual who provides independent and professional services to third party employers in the construction industry.
All construction contractors are required to obtain a professional license. The procedure for obtaining a contractor's license is mainly dependent on the state and local municipal regulations.
The requirements may vary, but most of them call for an educational background and professional experience. Some countries require the candidate to go through professional training and pass a test before providing the license.
The five basic steps to follow in order to become a successful construction contractor are:
1. Obtain an appropriate degree in construction technology
2. Gain position, experience, and skill in construction
3. Create a business plan
4. Obtain a contracting license
5. Manage a contracting business