How to Become a Contractor

A contractor supervises the planning and execution of all kinds of building projects, ranging from small home repair and enhancement projects to building houses and other structures.

A contractor manages the entire project from beginning to end, including determining what work needs to be finished. These tasks include scheduling subcontractors, securing construction licenses when required, and defining and tracking the project’s budget as it advances.

Individuals working as a contractor must have a strong knowledge of the construction method and the up-to-date building codes that dictate the job. All countries require licensing of a general contractor, which implies you must have the necessary expertise and abilities to complete construction projects in line with present legislation.

How to Become a Contractor 1
A contractor supervises the planning and execution of all kinds of building projects. Photo credits to:

Types of Careers as a Contractor

It’s not a quick process to become a general contractor, but if you’re wondering how long it takes to become a contractor. You need to understand that there are several distinct routes you can choose to win the title. Some general contractors rely on their work experience to collect the abilities and know-how needed for licensing.

However, being a contractor allows you to explore careers related to your field. Here are some careers you can study.


Construction Manager

A construction manager does not perform the building works on his own but manages the works to be completed by commercial contractors. The customer receives the trade contracts.

Design, Build, Management Contractor

This is a contractor assigned not only to design and construct the works but also to handle them during operation, sometimes offering operational services over and above construction maintenance, such as functional personnel supply, cleaning, etc.

Domestic Subcontractor

A subcontractor is freely selected and designated on their behalf by the primary contractor to perform a portion of the works. The subcontractor’s job is the prime contractor’s responsibility.


Contractor’s Average Pay

A construction contractor is earning an average hourly salary of $20.20, according to PayScale. However, as the experience increases, the role of the contractor and abilities are improving over time, and contractors can earn up to $46 per hour. This translates into a $59,000 to $108,000 annual salary.

Where to Apply to Jobs as a Contractor

Now is an excellent time to become a construction contractor in many countries. Over the next five years, the building industry is set to grow by 5% per year, offering new building contractors plenty of jobs to take on as they start or develop their careers. Additionally, for those working in the building company, there are several career paths, beginning with the position of a contractor.

After proper education and training, you can apply in these websites:

  • Upwork – Upwork is a freelancer job search and posting platform where you can easily apply to jobs.
  • CareerBuilder – CareerBuilder is a great “find a job” website with features perfect for job seekers.
  • Seek – With Seek, you can create your job-seeking profile.

How to Apply to Jobs as a Contractor

The process of becoming a certified contractor starts with the formal education, apprenticeship, or industry experience that can take three to five years to finish anywhere. This experience or knowledge often involves thorough teaching of all construction elements, including electrical systems, building codes, plumbing, and even business management. The appropriate training or experience that a contractor receives is highly dependent on the route they take to become a contractor.

Once you have work experience or education, acquiring a suitable contractor license is required to become a contractor. Each state requires building contractors to keep a contractor permit, especially those working on more significant projects, to operate legally within the state.

When applying for a contractor license, you may be required to take an exam to showcase skills or experience. You can also provide proof of industry experience, or submit letters of reference from previous employers or business contacts.


Even if they do not finish a degree in construction management, contractors should be acquainted with the relevant building codes in the region of the company, as well as with any state and local legislation governing contractors.

They should also prepare by learning about taxes, accounting, contracts, marketing, and employee management to run a company.

Start a career as a contractor now!

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