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Getting Started: The Basic Process for Becoming a Licensed Contractor

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Anyone with a knack for fixing things or performing tasks such as building or planning is probably well-versed in the basic fundamentals of construction. If you fall into one of these categories, perhaps becoming a licensed contractor is a perfect career path for your unique skill set. 

The human population nearly doubles every 40 years. As such, the need for more homes and buildings also grows exponentially. With this need, the world needs people who can plan and build the places where we work and live. 

But, before you run out and proclaim to the world that you’re now a contractor and you’re ready to build or plan anything, you have a little legwork to do, along with the necessary steps required to become a licensed contractor in your state.

Here, we’ll lay out some basic steps. 

Gain Experience in Your Field 

Experience can be earned in many different ways. Depending on the nature of trade work that you want to learn, you’ll have a few options for gaining experience in your preferred field.

While you’re young and still living at home, basic experience can be gained by simply asking questions and helping your parents with things around the house.

If your parents perform any maintenance or building or fix anything, observe closely and jump in to help. This can give you valuable basic experience in several fields, from construction to plumbing and home repair. 

Additionally, if you can take any vocational or trade programs at your local high school, this is a great way to learn valuable job experience. However, when all else fails, finding an entry-level job in construction or another preferred field will give you valuable on-the-job training towards becoming a licensed contractor. 

Consider Higher Education

Depending on the level of contracting work you’re aspiring toward, higher education programs can offer valuable knowledge that will help solidify your expertise in a given field.

Perhaps you want to build big buildings or large complexes. Structures of these magnitudes require intricate planning, often requiring the expertise of engineers and architects. As a result, many aspiring contractors receive training in industrial engineering or other trade degrees to propel them further along their career paths. 

Check into Licensing and Insurance Requirements 

Nearly all states have requirements and rules governing construction and contractors who perform these tasks. Though these requirements vary from state to state and from project to project, it’s going to be part of your job to ensure that you meet these requirements

Whether you’re seeking to do basic home repairs or want to build big and seek to work on large-scale, high-cost commercial, residential, or public works contracts, you’ll have to be properly licensed and insured.

Find out exactly what the requirements are before taking any jobs. Otherwise, you could not only be fined, but all of the work you performed might have to be removed. 

Getting licensed and insured is the last critical step you need to complete to become a bona fide licensed contractor.

Always Continue Learning 

Continued education
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No matter your profession, it’s always a good rule of thumb to stay on top of your game. 

With the world’s technology always changing, it’s imperative for you to change along with it if you’re to stay above the competition. Even as a contractor, there are continuing education tools at your disposal to ensure that you stay current with trends and methods regarding your industry. 

Whether gaining additional certification or simply learning new methods and techniques for performing familiar tasks, keep learning about your industry to ensure that you’ll always meet and exceed standards and expectations.

Becoming a licensed contractor can lead to a lucrative career. But, depending on which field you want to do business in, today’s opportunities, with the rise of technology, are always expanding. 

Having the wherewithal and due diligence to ensure that you receive quality training and meet all requirements are your first steps in becoming a licensed contractor in today’s professional world. 

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