How Can I Become a Home Contractor?

Home contractors and construction managers supervise every part of the construction process. Read on to learn more about the education, training, and experience necessary to become a home contractor. Schools offering Construction Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview

Becoming a home contractor requires training in general home repair and renovation. You might also need a contractor's license to work in some states.

Important Facts about Being a Home Contractor

Key Skills Analysis, business savvy, customer service, decision making, initiative, leadership, technical skills of the trade
On-the-Job Training Work under the tutelage of an experienced contractor between several months to several years
Professional Certification Available from the American Institute of Constructors
Similar Occupations Architects, Civil Engineers, Cost Estimators, Architectural and Engineering Managers

Education

Home contractors develop their trade and marketing skills through classroom education, most commonly by completing a bachelor's degree. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer construction management and home contractor courses that teach individuals how to replace, install, build, repair, and renovate floors, tiles, cabinets, walls, and roofs. Classes in accounting, marketing, and cost estimating teach the business skills for becoming a home contractor.

Licensing

Some states require home contractors to have a license, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Every state has different licensing requirements to ensure that legal issues and safety regulations are met. Home contractors may need a license for specific or large home renovation projects, such as electrical, gas, and plumbing jobs.

Work Environment

Home contractors may be self-employed or work for companies to remodel other people's houses. Contractors should have a written agreement with the specific job duties the clients want done on their houses. The contractor provides the labor, materials, and equipment. Home contractors get paid by their clients once the renovation is complete. Home contractors can also benefit from participating in professional organizations, like The Associated General Contractors of America (www.agc.org), where career development, networking events, and online courses are offered.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Construction managers, also called general contractors, earned a median salary of $85,630 in 2014, according to the BLS. Those specializing in residential buildings earned an average of $86,270 a year in 2014, per the Bureau. The employment of all construction managers, including home contractors, is expected to grow by 16% between 2012 and 2022, per the BLS.

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