How to become an Independent Contractor

Independent contractors, unlike general contractors, work on a freelance basis and often operate through their own business. Working independently offers freedom to work only on jobs desired, yet having all of the responsibilities of business ownership. Both skill and knowledge are essential to being a successful independent contractor. Ideally, experience combined with education is brought into a new contracting business venture.

Education is Needed to be an Independent Contractor

All aspects of business are normally handled by the independent contractor. For that reason, a bachelor’s degree is recommended for most areas of expertise. Construction contractors do not necessarily need a complete degree since experience teaches a great deal of the skills needed. Some college courses may help, such as accounting, and business management. Unless an accountant will be hired, classes on taxes are useful to the independent contractor.

Work Experience Needed to become an Independent Contractor

There is no better way to learn that being in the field, regardless of the area of expertise. On the job training, work experience and apprentice jobs are all excellent avenues to explore before diving into independent contracting. Gaining valuable experience and knowledge by exploring while working for others develops understanding of the skills needed and also provides an opportunity to make contacts that may be beneficial later. Some who wonder how to become a contractor often have most of the experience needed just from having work experience in that field.

Independent Contractors need Determination

It doesn’t matter how much thought goes into deciding to become an independent contractor, when the factor that most often makes it a reality is determination. Everything else aside, anyone considering operating a business on this scale must be confident they have the drive and will to succeed. It takes a lot of ambition and energy, combined with a real desire to work in the desired field in order to make it happen. Education and experience are building blocks to being an independent contractor, and determination is the cornerstone.

Independent Contractors must be Licensed

Each state has their own set of requirements to becoming an independent contractor. Two qualifications for all states are to be legally eligible to work in the United States, and be over the age of 18. Most states have a gateway website to learn what is needed in order to become licensed, along with information on what is needed to pass the exams. Those interested in how to become an independent contractor will need to find out what their state requires.

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Research and Independent Contractors

Anyone considering becoming a successful independent contractor should examine all aspects of the business. Taxation, laws, insurance, hiring employees; these are all a part of the job that require knowledge and understanding before undertaking business ownership. No one just wakes up one morning and decides to open a business without proper research. Businesses that open before having all of the components in place through research often fail. Also ensure that proper market research has been performed in the area that you intend to work in.

There are many steps to becoming an independent contractor, but with proper planning and knowledge, it can be a rewarding career. Despite the economy, those who work in this field are highly sought after and often make a good income. Freelancing and being self employed also offers a great deal of flexibility and work enjoyment.

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