A sector that is considered one of the most relevant for the economy and the general development of society, is construction.
It involves the construction, maintenance, and renovation of buildings and infrastructures.
There are numerous jobs and specializations that the construction industry includes, thus making it highly important in any country.
An occupation that is directly associated with the construction industry is General Contractor.
In the next few sections, we’ll discuss the most important facts about this occupation, and the cost of becoming a General Contractor.
Table of Contents
- What Is a General Contractor?
- What Does a General Contractor Do?
- What Is the Difference Between General Contracting and Construction Management?
- How Can I Become a General Contractor?
- How Long Does It Take to Become a General Contractor?
- How Much Does Becoming a General Contractor Cost?
What Is a General Contractor?
A General Contractor is an individual that plans, coordinate, and supervise a construction project that requires the use of subcontractors.
General Constructors are also known as Original Contractors and Prime Contractors.
What Does a General Contractor Do?
As the person in charge of a construction project, a General Contractor has a wide range of duties.
Among the most common are to make plans about the project, specifically about budgets and work timetables, coordinate and collaborate with other professionals such as architects and engineers, choose subcontractors, supervise the different projects involved in the construction, and that it follows regulations and safety codes.
What Is the Difference Between General Contracting and Construction Management?
There has been confusion about General Contractors and Construction Managers.
Yet even if these two occupations are very similar, there is a difference that distinguishes one from the other.
A Construction Manager works directly with the client to develop a budget and a plan based on the client’s needs.
In contrast, a General Contractor works with a construction company that completes a project for a fixed amount which was proposed in competitive bidding.
How Can I Become a General Contractor?
There are usually three ways to become a General Contractor: on-the-job training, obtaining a construction technology certificate, or a higher education degree, such as an associate’s degree.
Since there isn’t a specific educational requirement to become a General Contractor, people are able to start working on a construction project under the supervision of an experienced General Contractor.
This could be a great option if you wish to start working immediately and see how things truly are.
Construction Technology Certificate
A Construction Technology program allows students to gain knowledge of the basic concepts and practices of the construction industry.
These certificates are generally offered by technical schools and community colleges.
Higher Education Degree
If you wish to acquire a more profound knowledge of the construction industry, you could obtain an Associate’s degree in Construction Technology.
Students will learn about the different aspects of the industry, building codes and regulations, and computer programs to supervise and manage construction projects.
Obtaining certification is not mandatory yet some employers and clients could prefer General Contractors who are certified.
This demonstrates that you have the knowledge and expertise required for the job.
The American Institute of Constructors offers the Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) for those who meet the specific requirements and pass the exams.
How Long Does It Take to Become a General Contractor?
This will mostly depend on the path you choose, but on average, you could spend from nine months to two years obtaining the necessary education.
Regarding on-the-job training, it’s more difficult to provide a specific timeline since it is highly subjective.
How Much Does Becoming a General Contractor Cost?
The cost of becoming a General Contractor can vary according to the city where you live and the manner in which you choose to obtain the proper knowledge and experience.
On average, for a certificate in Construction Technology, you could pay from $1,500 to $10,000.
For an Associate’s degree, the cost could be between $2,000 and $20,000.