Become a General Contractor
A general contractor, sub-contractor or prime contractor is typically responsible for the day to day oversight of an industrial building site, coordination of trades and vendors, and the dissemination of details to all participants during the course of such a construction project. They are the architect, engineer, and designer. They ensure the safety of employees, as well as the integrity of building structures and materials. Contractors also oversee the preparation and installation of the finished goods, which includes the plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems. In addition, they are responsible for the safe and proper handling, maintenance, and destruction of the materials themselves.
There are three types of general contractors: the single contract purchaser, the principal contractor, and the subcontractor. The single contract purchaser is primarily responsible for the construction and the subsequent operations of one project. The purchase price of the project is dependent on the scope of the project, the number of trades and material involved in it, and the preferences of the property owner. Contractors under this type of agreement usually have a long relationship with the principal contractor. Although some of them work independently, most maintain relationships with several of the principal contractors.
The third kind of general contractor is the contracting subcontractor. This kind of contractor works only on assignments for projects that require minimal supervision. They receive payment for the work performed, but do not manage the projects themselves. Instead, they are responsible for managing the licensing and contracting activities of their principal responsibilities. This arrangement is popular for small construction projects.
Each of these three general contractors has slightly different types of licensing requirements based on their specific business activities. While some general contractors are required to hold a license for specific building activities, others are licensed for all building purposes, regardless of what it is that they do. Some general contractors who are self-employed may be required to obtain their license from the local or state board. Others will be limited in the areas they can handle based on the size of their business.
In order to become licensed as a general contractor, you have to complete a specified number of training courses and pass an exam. The requirements for obtaining the exam vary by state, but typically include a study plan and several examinations. You must successfully pass the exam in order to be certified to do construction projects. Some states allow potential contractors to apply for a license without completing the training and examination requirements, but the process of certification can be more difficult.
As a general contractor, you are responsible for the management and maintenance of buildings and sites. You often act as the construction manager for a construction project by delegating various tasks to other workers and contractors. If you are a good manager and perform your job well, you can build a profitable career. However, there are also many opportunities available to experienced general contractors to manage projects on their own.