How To Become A General Contractor

General contractors are also known as construction managers. They take the responsibility to manage construction projects from initiation through completion, and are involved in activities like budgeting, planning, hiring, and building. Despite the volatile nature of the construction industry, general contractors can have numerous opportunities. They may find jobs in many new and renovation related projects, especially where buildings are being improved for energy efficiency. General contractor could be your career if managing people and building projects interest you.

How to Become a General Contractor

Education and Experience
For some construction management positions, an associate's degree in construction and relevant experience is enough to begin a career. However, general contractors usually require a bachelor's degree in construction management or any other construction related field. They could also join the field with a high school diploma and by gaining construction experience, but the qualification requirements are increasing over time for general contractors. Since experience is a crucial factor in the construction manager's career, employers seek individuals with the right mix of construction management qualification and experience.

Essential Skills and Traits
There are some essential skills and personality traits that help general contractors to thrive in their career:

  • Analytical skills to plan, look for construction strategies, identify, and address various project issues
  • Decision making skills to choose personnel and subcontractors and deal with various emergency situations and delays
  • Initiative to get ahead, bid on different projects, work with clients, and market themselves
  • Managerial skills to address various matters, supervise, and coordinate for construction projects
  • Communication skills to deal with people, convey the message correctly, listen attentively, and train people
  • Time management skills to manage and make sure that the various project tasks are completed within time
  • Writing skills to effectively write proposals, budgets, and plans for various stakeholders including clients

General Contractor Job Description
General contractors normally perform the following tasks:

  • Conduct negotiations on cost, make budgets, and work timetables
  • Find out suitable construction methods and strategies
  • Help workers and other professionals understand technical information and contract details
  • Report clients  about work progress and budget related issues
  • Deal with various professionals such as architects, engineers, and construction specialists
  • Oversee the onsite construction activities and personnel
  • Devise solutions to  deal with work delays and emergencies
  • Take part in selection, hiring, and training of laborers and subcontractors
  • Make sure that legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations are followed

Career Outlook and Salary
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a positive outlook for general contractors, and their employment is likely to rise by 17 percent between the years 2010 to 2020. The growth rate is almost the same as the average for all occupations. Construction managers will be required in different levels and types of construction projects. The growing population and businesses will lead to new residential areas, office buildings, hospitals, restaurants, schools, and other structures. The BLS states that the median yearly wage of construction managers was around $83,000 in May 2010.


Have Questions ?

Please submit your question!

* All Fields are Required
Find Now