Posted in Career Insights

how to become a contractorGeneral contractors oversee and help complete construction projects.

They are also known as construction managers.

Your duties as a general contractor may include:

  • Making sure projects are completed on time
  • Keeping projects on budget
  • Purchasing construction materials
  • Ensuring high-quality results
  • Arranging for proper permits
  • Keeping in touch with clients
  • Overseeing workplace safety
  • Coordinating with workers and leaders such as plumbers, electricians and architects
  • Hiring laborers
  • Responding to emergencies
  • Ensuring the legality of projects

You can become a general contractor in a number of different ways, but many people have experience working in the industry, have an associate’s degree, or obtain a certification and get a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the state, you may also need to get a license to work on projects.

Here’s how to become a general contractor.

Get Experience

The most important thing that can help you become a general contractor is experience. You can get experience by working as an assistant to a general contractor and by working in the construction industry.

You can also do a trade program or apprenticeship to gain hands-on knowledge.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a general contractor, Stratford Career Institute’s Contractor / Construction Management Distance Learning Course is a great place to start.

Associate’s Degree

While you get some experience, it can be a good idea to also get your associate’s degree in a field like construction management.

Many of these programs can teach you general contractor skills such as building materials, estimating costs, managing people, reading blueprints and operating machinery. Depending on the school, these credits may also count towards a bachelor’s degree.


In many states, contractors need licenses to work on certain projects. To learn more about your state’s general contractor licensing requirement, you can visit the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) official website.

Get Certified

Getting a voluntary certification through independent organizations such as the Construction Management Association of America or the American Institute of Contractors can help demonstrate your knowledge and skills. It may also open up more career opportunities as a general contractor.

Consider a Bachelor’s Degree

While you do not necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to become a general contractor, employers may prefer candidates who have both experience and a bachelor’s degree.

Getting your bachelor’s degree can open up more construction contractor careers. A Bachelor’s degree can also provide more knowledge about new technology in the industry and can help you get more experience through internships.

Take an Introductory Course Today

To get your career as a general contractor started, enroll in our Contractor / Construction Management Distance Learning Course.

Or, look through our course catalog and enroll today!


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