What Is a Contractor?
A contractor is someone who is in charge of the entire building process of either a residential, commercial or government building. They also can oversee and run the development of new highways, waste management systems and other infrastructures. It is a position of power, as every contractor is looked to for answers to all problems related on the job site.
It is fairly common for all contractors to specialize in one or two areas of construction. Meaning you are looking to build a commercial structure or residential home, you would look to bring a in contractor who has previous working experience doing so. Through out the entire building process, it the responsibility of the contractor to bring in subcontractors who specialize on work that they may not know how to do.
The assistance of a subcontractor on any project is valuable, as they have experience dealing with electrical installations, painting, or plumbing. These are tasks and skill that’s a general contractor usually does not have too much experience with.
How to Become a Contractor
If you are looking to become a contractor then you will need to begin your career quest by obtaining a bachelor’s degree. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to focus your studies on either building science, construction management or construction science.
What these subjects are able to do are offer you and every other hopeful contractor, the necessary advanced knowledge in engineering, system design, communication and estimation. However, if you are someone that is unable to acquire a higher-level education, or simply do not wish to go down that road, you can still potentially receive a contractor position.
In some cases an employer can take a chance on applicant who has no degree but a significant amount of working experience. If carpentry has always been a hobby of yours and you have grown up around the industry and have spent your free time developing your skills, an employer may take a chance on a qualified candidate who has the training needed to immediately impact a job in a positive way.
Contractor Career Outlook & Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of job opportunities for contractors looks to be strong. Contractors are projected to see a faster than average growth of 17% from 2008-2018. This is the case despite the fact that industry and construction is cutting the cost of doing business.
It is highly recommended that contractors seek education, licensure and certification as a way of increasing job opportunities. By better positioning yourself, you are able to separate yourself from the rest of pack. If and when stretches come around where contractors are not needed as much, if you are one of the few with more experience and have an advanced education, you immediately increase your own future opportunity for work.
Still, with the number of contractor job opportunities on the rise, gaining more education and training would not so much secure work for yourself but create the chance to be employed by a more prestigious and lucrative company, giving you the chance to further develop your skills and knowledge of the industry.