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How to become a Contractor?

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Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered March 01 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
There is no one set path to becoming a Contractor. 

Generally, Contractors start by working construction projects as workers in more specialized fields such as carpentry, plumbing, or electricians and then make connections and work their way up to become self-employed Contractors. 

Several community colleges offer construction management programs that can help you gain confidence and fill in any gaps you may have in your knowledge gained on the job. Many of these programs occur in the evenings to allow students to take the courses outside of working hours. Some of the classes may include reading architectural blueprints, understanding building codes, safety and accident prevention, estimating, and project planning.  

Suppose you are looking for a way to move from a specialized construction field to general contracting. In that case, these kinds of programs can be helpful to not only help you build knowledge of construction processes and materials but also develop your skills in project management and business administration.  

Because Contractors are self-employed, you should be confident in your business skills. You can also hire out some tasks such as bookkeeping, website maintenance, and filing.

Important Things to Know Before Becoming a Contractor

The first thing to consider before becoming a Contractor is: are you ready to be self-employed?

Being self-employed can be very beneficial, but it does carry a certain amount of risk. Take the time to honestly assess your risk tolerance and consider what might happen, if say, a project you were counting on to pay the bills runs out of money and gets put on hold.  

Once you have decided that you are ready to take the leap and start your career as a General Contractor, here are some practical considerations. 

Look into licensing requirements for your state. Some states require special Contractor licenses, while others require a business license. It is an excellent idea to do your research on your state and city regulations to properly run your business. Some states will also require that you pass an exam. Some states such as Georgia have two exams, one covering business and law and one for construction. Other states combine all the material into one exam.  

Write up a business plan. Think of this as your map for what kind of projects you want to work on and how you plan on setting yourself up for success in a vast industry. If you choose to apply for financing, banks will also always want to see a business plan.

You also generally need some insurance coverage for your business operations. Without proper insurance, you would be liable for any damages or unforeseen issues.