General contractor career

Students who wish to pursue a career as a contractor does not necessarily need to have a post-secondary education to enter into the field. There are a number of options. Students can look for a construction job after high school graduation. However, this option means that you will be doing a few years of entry level work before being promoted to a general contractor or gain enough experience to become independent. Another way is to go through a college program specializing in construction management. You may end up with a job as a construction manager and fast track your way to a job as the general contractor.
Students who wish to pursue a post-secondary school education in construction management have a lot of choices in both university and community college programs. Most universities offer a four year program in civil engineering where students learn more than just construction, they also are exposed to various civil engineering design courses and theory that will help them with a number of civil engineering projects. These tend to be a four year program at most universities with or without an internship program. Because of the number of labs and lectures involved in civil engineering, these courses tend to be done in classroom rather than an online setting.
On the other hand, if students wish to gain more hands-on and direct experience with construction management, they can choose to enroll in a construction management program at a community college. These tend to be a two year associate degree program with a focus on construction. Students will learn construction techniques, building codes, material and cost estimates as well as some level of project management. Again, because of the nature of the courses are so hands-on and in the field, the programs are generally offered in classrooms rather than online.
Following graduation, depending on which program you took, your job prospects can be very different. As a civil engineer graduate, you may be employed by the government, or a private firm working on civil projects, which may span across all residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Civil engineers will also have the opportunity to work on the design of the projects and help construction managers interpret their design to the building phase.
On the other hand, if you graduated from the construction management program, you will be working directly for a general contractor or you may become an independent. Your role will be building the project based on the visions of engineers and architects. You will have intimate knowledge of the building code to ensure that the projects adhere to the guidelines in order to obtain approval from regulatory bodies.
In short, the career of a general contractor can be very exciting, especially during a time when there is a boom in the construction industry. However, the path to becoming a general contractor can be a very long one depending on the educational path you took.

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