Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Contractor
1 – Get the Right Education
Construction contractors are often viewed as blue-collar workers, requiring less formal education and industry experience than other business verticals. However, that perception is not based in reality. If becoming a contractor is on your agenda, you need to start by recognizing the education requirements needed for the job. For some, a more conventional route of training and education is followed, including two- or four-year college degrees in a related field. Earning a college degree in construction, business management, or even technology can offer a sturdy foundation of training which can be used to move a contractor business forward effectively.
2 – Gather Experience in the Industry
In addition to formal or on-the-job training, individuals who have a desire to become a licensed contractor need to gain experience in the industry. Working for a small or large construction company offers an opportunity to get acclimated with the types of projects and clients available, as well as insight into how business operations are run. The combination of this experience also helps build a strong resume which can be used to gain clients as a contractor on your own.
3 – Understand How to Be a Business Owner
Construction contractors are, at the core, business owners. While construction work may come naturally, it is common that business ownership and operation skills do not. However, spending time working with successful construction companies can be helpful in gaining this type of acumen for your own business. Also, potential contractors should work toward understanding the ins and outs of business management through business courses, offered both online and in-person from a variety of sources.
4 – Recognize the Licensing and Legal Requirements
After you have gained valuable industry and business knowledge, the next step in becoming a contractor is following through on licensing and legal requirements. First, each state has guidelines for how to become a contractor, including taking an exam, completing a background check, and showcasing skills gained from experience. Most states also require you to have a surety bond in place to help safeguard the clients who entrust their contracting work to you. Be sure to check with your state’s licensing board or use this in-depth resource to determine what requirements are necessary for contractor licensing.
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