How to Become a Contractor

In order to become a contractor, you will have to complete a number of different steps. Sometimes, it might seem difficult to get into the contractor industry. However, with a little work, you can successfully navigate your way into the field. Here are the basics of how to become a contractor.

Choose a Field

The first thing that you need to do is choose which type of contractor you would like to become. There are many different types of contractors in the building market today. There are contractors that specialize in roofing, flooring, drywall, and construction. There are general contractors that oversee a range of different projects. Therefore, in order to get into the contracting field, you need to decide which type of contracting work you would like to get into.


There is no specific educational path that is designed for contractors. In most cases, a high school diploma will be sufficient. However, if you obtain a bachelors degree in construction management or construction science, this can help you tremendously. This is especially true if you plan on getting into general contracting or more advanced contracting positions. There are also many technical and vocational programs that you could attend focused on construction. This will give you the tools that you need to succeed as a contractor.


Perhaps the most important part of the process of becoming a contractor is to become an apprentice to an existing contractor. Learning on the job is really the only way to learn everything that you need to know about the job. Even if you go to college, there are certain things that you cannot learn until you do them. By finding a good mentor, you can learn the skills that you will need to be successful in the industry.

This process may involve simply becoming a helper for a contracting crew. For example, if you decide that you want to be a flooring contractor, you can visit some local flooring stores and talk to their existing contractors. Let them know that you are looking for an opportunity to work and learn at the same time.

On-the-job training can take varying amounts of time depending on which type of contracting you get into. You might have to be an assistant for one to five years in order to acquire the skills that you need. However, once you have successfully learned on the job, your odds of landing a job as a contractor will be greatly improved.


Depending on where you live, you will most likely have to adhere to licensing requirements for your particular area. Contact your local government to determine what the specific requirements are. In some cases, you will have to take a test. Other times, you will simply have to purchase a license in order to do business as a contractor.

Finding Work

Contractors will typically have a very flexible working schedule. You will have to network with others in the construction industry in order to find consistent work. You can apply with different construction companies or start your own business as a contractor.