Students interested in being contractors, as well as those who wonder about building their own business, must first investigate how to become a contractor. It is an achievable goal and takes some time and a lot of experience, but becoming a contractor could be a lucrative decision. From education to licensing, these are the steps that are advisable to follow when pursuing a career as a contractor.
What Education does a Contractor Need?
A formal education is not always necessary to become a contractor. However, some employers look favorably on applicants who have taken civil engineering classes. People who already work in the construction field may opt to take some classes, or begin to learn on the job what it takes to be a contractor. Begin to take notice of dealings with the contractor with whom the company you are employed with works with. If classes are desired, even one class a semester will add valuable learning experience.
Gaining valuable trade skills is essential in becoming a contractor. Anyone already in the construction field could simply ask their employer to begin an apprenticeship. The employers often are happy to do it since it means they have a more skilled worker in the end. Additionally, unions offer apprentice programs which usually last from 2-5 years, depending on the skills already learned. Some of the areas which would be learned are masonry, plumbing, and carpentry.
Develop Leadership Skills
Contractors must be efficient leaders, but not all people are born with that skill. One way to obtain leader skills is to work up to earning advancement in the construction area. Leadership skills are also taught in civil engineering classes, and business classes, making a combination of experience and education ideal. Those already in the construction trade sometimes will seek out new employment in the area of management in order to gain the skills necessary. However the skills will often be easily acquired with experience and dedication.
Get a Contractor License
Laws vary from state to state on what is necessary to obtain a contracting license. The license obtained will be in a specialized area, such as plumbing or commercial contracting. As a result, before someone gets to this point, they should have a fairly good idea of exactly what type of contracting they wish to do. General contracting is also an option in many states which provide licensing to contractors. For information on state licensing requirements have a look at your local department of consumer affairs.
Become a Contractor
The construction industry has many opportunities available to begin a new business, including a contracting business. Those who have been in construction for many years may feel comfortable opening their own business. On the other hand, many large companies often hire contractors which allow individuals to have an opportunity to make contacts and truly learn the ropes of being a contractor. This also provides an opportunity to save up the money to venture out into opening a contracting business.
As long as there is construction, there will be a need for qualified contractors. However, those who have prepared themselves will always have a competitive edge over others.