Becoming a Contractor

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How do you become a contractor? There are several ways. Currently, universities and colleges offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in construction management. Those interested in construction management, also known as construction science, construction, or construction technology, can find programs accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) on the council’s website.

If students are looking to become certified, which includes education, work experience, and a written exam, they can view the websites of the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) or the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

However, there is not just one kind of contractor. "According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are three types of Construction Contractors: General contractors are involved with building structures, like residential homes and office buildings, while heavy and civil engineering construction contractors work on sewers, highways, bridges, and tunnels. Specialty contractors are individuals who work in a specific trade such as woodworking or painting," says an article on

General contractors also hire workers, read plans, buy materials, and hold workers to deadlines. In order to become a general contractor, individuals must be 18 years of age or older and have graduated high school, as well as be able to work legally in the U.S. With the proper licensing, general contractors have the potential to make up to $86,580 per year, depending on the length of contracts.

The following are colleges that have construction management programs or construction programs: One specific program that construction students can take is a construction management technology program. This program not only provides students with a "solid background in managing others at job sites, knowledge of materials, surveying, design, and equipment usage," but it also helps students acquire numerous construction skills that can be used for building homes, bridges, shopping malls, and more.

Most likely, a student taking a construction management technology program will be enrolled in the following courses:
  • Surveying
  • Construction Drawing
  • Physics
  • Psychology
According to the article, salaries for those who graduate from the construction management technology program are good and can range from $50,000 to $90,000 per year.

If an individual does not want to attend a college program, however, he or she can learn the art of contracting through hands-on experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many professionals work their way up from laborers to contractors. However, "it is helpful to have a college degree in civil engineering or a related subject in order to move on to a managerial position."
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 universities  United States  CMAA  AIC  exams  websites  ACCE  construction managers  colleges  work experience

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