The construction industry offers a number of careers to choose from. If you have a passion for directing and organizing a variety of construction projects, becoming a general contractor may just be the right career option for you. Right from house building projects to roadways construction projects, general contractors plan and supervise a wide range of building and construction projects. To make a career in this field, you need to know where to start, what qualifications to obtain, how to get trained and what the career prospects are.
The main job responsibility of these professionals is to coordinate the construction of residential, commercial, industrial and other building projects. General contractors are responsible for supervising and overseeing the entire construction project. All the design and building activities are done under the keep supervision of these contractors. They play a crucial role in putting together an efficient workforce. They hire workers for the projects and supervise their entire activities till the project gets completed.
Apart from this, general contractors also hold the responsibility of choosing the best techniques for the transportation of building materials to the construction site. A major challenge for contractors is to complete all the work within the designated budget. The entire planning needs to be cost efficient and should not exceed the provided budget. Depending on their interests and preferences, general contractors may also choose to specialize in residential or commercial building.
Educational Qualification & Training
The minimum requirement to become a general contractor is a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, building science, civil engineering or a relevant field. Practical experience is essential to kick start a career in this field. Apprenticeships and internships prove very useful in acquiring some real world experience.
Besides having a bachelor’s degree, general contractors also need to fulfill some licensing requirements. These requirements may vary from one state to another. Some professionals also acquire voluntary certifications to gain a competitive edge over others. The Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Contractors are two major bodies offering certifications to general contractors. To obtain the certification, candidates need to pass state examinations, have minimal education and working experience.
Job prospects for general contractors are good. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth faster than the average of all occupations, increasing at 16% from the year 2006 through to the year 2016. With the growth in population the level of construction activities also increases resulting in job growth. Another reason that contributes to job growth is the lesser number of qualified professionals than the number of job positions available. More job positions will be available also due to a large number of general contractors reaching their age of retirement, leaving for other reasons or taking transfers.
The salary of a general contractor may vary depending on the job position and years of experience they carry. They earn an annual salary ranging between $56,311 and $108,494.