General contractors manage the construction process on behalf of a client. They are responsible for all the details of a construction project, from planning to budgeting and scheduling to project completion.
They can work as building designers and foremen on their own or in conjunction with a team of subcontractors.
They may also act as prime contractors, which means that they hold the main contract with the owner and are responsible for completing the project on time and within budget.
GCs are in demand for all types of projects: new commercial buildings, interior renovations and home remodeling, according to the Construction Industry Association.
To start their own business as a general contractor, applicants must be licensed in their state of residence and have at least four years of experience working in the field. They must also complete an examination and obtain a surety bond.
A license and insurance are a necessity for general contractors to protect themselves from liability and loss in the event that they are sued or injured at a job site. In addition, they must be able to show that their workers are covered by workers’ compensation and employers’ liability insurance.
They should be able to meet deadlines and schedules efficiently, which requires strong time management skills. They should also be able to delegate tasks, set goals, and monitor progress.
Their job involves a lot of communication, so they must be good at negotiating with clients and other professionals to ensure that their projects are completed on time and on budget.
GCs usually charge for their services in terms of a percentage, which varies depending on the size of the project. These fees are paid to the GC at different times during the project based on a payment plan that you and the contractor jointly agree upon.
A general contractor can also use their expertise to handle the entire permitting process and paperwork for a construction project, if needed. This can save both time and money in the long run.
They need to be able to organize and direct their teams of Construction Workers, which can include carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, roofing specialists and HVAC installers. They must also be able to communicate with their subcontractors to make sure that they are performing all their duties in accordance with the plans and specifications of the project.
General Contractors can earn between 10 and 30 percent of the total cost of the project, with a few charging 25 percent or more. They are in high demand, as there is a large market for construction and remodeling jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average annual salary for a general contractor is $56,900, according to the BLS. They can earn more than this, but the pay will vary by area and state.
In the construction and remodeling industry, general contractors are in high demand because there is a growing need for residential and commercial building projects. This can be due to a lack of available housing, the need for energy-efficient buildings and the desire to renovate historic structures.