The career you choose has a big impact on the rest of your life. If you enjoy meeting new people, working in many different places, and seeing a project successfully completed, becoming a home improvement contractor might be a good career option for you. As a contractor you would help home owners plan and execute projects to improve their properties. If you’re thinking about taking the leap to become a contractor, here’s your next step.
How to become a contractor:
Choose a career path.
“Contractor” is a broad job description that covers many different fields in building, home renovation, and construction, so the first thing you’ll need to do is choose what kind of contractor you want to be. Most contractors fall under the title of general contractor, mechanical contractor, or specialty contractor with subgroups under each for you to choose from.
General contractors spend their time performing or overseeing a broad range of work building new homes, remodeling, and renovating.
Mechanical contractors typically perform work that requires a specific license and advanced knowledge of a specific mechanical system, such as those who work with water treatment systems, HVAC, or plumbing.
A specialty contractor gains expertise in a specific trade, such as carpentry, paving, or electrical work.
Research your chosen path’s educational requirements to learn what tests, experience, and skills you need to become a licensed contractor. Most contractor job requirements include a high school diploma, and many require special certifications or job-related course work and experience. You may also need to take additional math, engineering, or architecture classes depending on your specific field. Once you have a list of what you need to know, get studying!
Earn your license.
To become a licensed contractor, you’ll need to pass a licensing exam. To qualify for the exam, reach out to the licensing board for the instructions and requirements in your state.
Get to work.
Choose whether you’ll start your own business or find a pre-established company to work with.
Creating your own home improvement or renovation business means more control over your schedule, income, and jobs you work. However, you’ll also be responsible for finding customers, managing the finances, scheduling, and all other functions needed to run your business.
As an employee, you don’t have the same amount of freedom as a business owner, but you have a good idea of what to expect from one day to the next. You are told which jobs to do and follow company guidelines on how to complete them. You receive benefits from your employer, payment as agreed upon by you and your employer, and a W-2 at year’s end.
Set up financing.
Be prepared to offer your customers home improvement and renovation financing. Companies like Foundation Finance can provide great rates and promotions to help your customers afford large expenses and help you close more deals. Foundation Finance serves small and large contractor projects to help meet your customer’s window, roofing, siding, remodeling, renovation, water treatment, HVAC, and turf needs. Learn how home improvement financing works here!