A general contractor is the glue that holds a project together as it develops. He is in charge of bringing together many aspects to complete a project – a home, office building, or other structure. These managers use their construction expertise and organizational skills to ensure the project satisfies the buyer.
So, What Do They Do?
The job of a general contractor involves organizing and coordinating others to complete a structure under the guidance of his client’s preferences. He has general knowledge and experience in many areas of construction and can effectively guide and direct his team of specialists in bringing the project to completion. He is the one who communicates with the client during the entire process, making sure he’s satisfied as the end result develops. He is also responsible to ensure that all the work meets state and federal regulations.
What Education is Required?
Many individuals climb the ladder through apprenticeships and experience. Others choose to attend school and achieve a bachelor’s degree in a construction related field. Many large companies require a four-year degree combined with experience. At the end of schooling and training, an exam needs to be passed in order for the general contractor to be licensed to work within the state.
What Skills are Required?
Besides an education in construction and a considerable amount of experience, these individuals should have good communication skills. Much of the job requires negotiating contracts and prices on projects. He’ll also need to communicate with clients to determine what their expectations are for the project. He acts as a mediator between the client and the individual workmen as they work to complete various aspects of the project. So, his communication with the client needs to translate into accurate instructions for the workmen as they make the client’s dream a reality.
In addition to good communication skills, this individual needs a thorough knowledge of the modern methods and various materials that can be used to complete a project. He should keep up with the many advances in technology which will allow him to complete projects quickly and with more accuracy. This also applies to business practices. Good business management and marketing skills are essential to self-employed individuals.
How Much Does a General Contractor Make?
The salaries among these professionals vary widely depending on the area where they work, the field of construction which they focus on, the size of the projects they oversee, the location of the buildings they construct, and many other factors. On average a salaried construction manager in May of 2008 made a little less than $80,000 – the middle 50% averaged between about $60,000 and $107,000, while the lowest paid made less than $47,000, and the highest-paid made more than $145,000.
The duties of a general contractor require many and varied skills. When good communication and organizational skills combine with excellent experience in many aspects of the construction field
, an individual can build an incredibly successful career as he utilizes the skills he’s perfected and learned to love!