A commercial general contractor is a vital link in the construction industry connecting the construction professionals and the building owners. Their main job lies in overseeing all aspects of a commercial construction project. The multifaceted construction industry requires these commercial general contractors to take care of various stages of construction activities like development of building plan, updating the construction fieldwork, remodeling of business structures, etc.
A commercial general contractor must be proficient in multiple phases of the present-day construction industry. They are not expected to be specialized in any one type of construction activity. They should have proficiency and deep knowledge in all the fields of construction management and management of large commercial construction projects.
They should be well versed in people management, Material Management, and know-how to conduct the construction activities in a large project. They have to provide for unforeseen circumstances and unexpected eventualities and conduct the project to bring it to a conclusion as planned.
The present-day commercial general contractor takes care of virtually all the tasks connected with a construction project. They are responsible for hiring the right people for each phase of the construction project. They must have profound knowledge of specialty contractors who can be entrusted with specific parts of the construction project.
If you are prepared to work in a fast-paced, fast-growing, and dynamic job role in the construction industry, then you can be a good fit to become a commercial general contractor. If you have a flair for working long hours and take responsibilities on your shoulder and manage people to get the best outcomes, then you can become a good commercial general contractor.
To become a commercial general contractor in the present day needs a lot of preparation and educational background to excel in your role as a pivotal key in construction project development.
To be a successful commercial general contractor, you must know how to prepare cost estimates, know how to hire subcontractors for each part of the construction project, manage properties, choose the right construction methods, check the local regulations, and be good at budgeting maintaining good client relations.
When you want to become a commercial general contractor, you must be prepared to spend your time in your office as well as in the field at construction project sites. You must be aware that your working time may extend well beyond the regular business hours as scheduling delays and unforeseen circumstances are a regular part of your workday, and you must be able to cope with them.
Most commercial general l contractors enter into commercial general contracting as part of their family business or as an extension of their existing construction business. When a person becomes a commercial general contractor from their existing family construction business or entering this field based on their work experience, they may get into the field without any formal educational qualifications. They can act as a commercial general contractor only based on their experience and guidance from their family members.
Large construction companies only prefer construction professionals with formal education and a strong background in the construction industry. So you must plan your career in the construction industry through well-planned applied knowledge in the construction management process.
If you are a stranger to the construction industry and want to become a commercial general contractor, then you need to get certain educational qualifications that will help you find good placements and get success in your chosen line of activity.
First, you have to find ways to know how to design and construct industrial buildings. For this, formal education may be necessary. Many types of apprenticeships, internships, and work-study programs are available now. You can undergo them as a part of your formal education. By doing this, you get the required certifications, degrees that will add to your qualification to become a commercial general contractor.
Now you can join certifications, and undergraduate degree programs in construction management and allied fields of the construction industry, and these are available in all the colleges and universities. Select the one that is good at giving you a good entry into the construction field to become a successful commercial general contractor. Those who are having good knowledge and experience in the commercial construction field are much preferred in big construction companies’ departments.
To become a commercial general contractor, you must have good knowledge of various engineering technologies and process displays knowledge in the fields of:
- Construction project control
- Construction and building designs
- Cost and budget estimation
- Building standards and building codes
- Construction contracts administration
- Statistical and mathematical knowledge for the construction industry
- Knowledge about commercial real estate
Due to all this, you must have the following qualifications to get a good entry into the construction industry as a commercial general contractor
a bachelors or masters degree in construction management civil engineering for building science as a formal degree education
You must have a state contractor’s license or registration with your state’s department of labor and industries for licensing purposes.
In addition to this, you must have a good knowledge of the latest construction technologies and methods that are used in the present-day construction industry. You must be able to use one of the current standard planning software and must be able to create technical drawings using it. You must also have sufficient knowledge in cost estimation and must be able to use specific software for this purpose. An added advantage will be if you have the necessary business leadership qualities and have an acute attention to detail with good analytical skills.
Problem-solving and decision-making will be a part of your daily workday. You must be good at taking your initiative to complete the task at hand and be an efficient time management person with good writing skills.
You will be in charge of managing a construction project and may involve the following duties:
- Consulting with clients
- explaining the terms of contracts
- prepare a report on progress on the project
- repairing and adhering to cost and time estimates
- creating and defining construction plans
- cost controlling and estimations
- surprising multiple projects at the same time
- working with construction professionals like civil engineers and Architects
- responding to emergency and other unforeseen contingencies
- hiring subcontractors and specialty workers
- collaborating with government officials and city authorities, and real estate lawyers
- complying with a permit and legal requirements
- ensuring on-time material delivery and project completion
- complaint with various local building laws and regulations
- complying with local area codes and laws and regulations
- Taking steps to prevent accidents and comply with safety requirements
As a commercial general contractor, you can become a self-employed professional. On the other hand, you can also get employed in large national construction companies.
In the beginning, you will be working as assistants, and with gaining experience as construction managers, then you can become a full-fledged general construction commercial contractor.
The job prospects of the commercial general contractor are bright as in the US alone it is projected that this type of professional’s requirement grows about 11% over the next 10 years.
Some of the best resources where you can find good information for professional knowledge to work as a commercial general contractor include:
- The Nuts and Bolts of Erecting a Contracting Empire: A Complete Guide for Building Success in the Construction, Contracting, and Tradesman Industries available both on Kindle as well as paperback editions
- Construction Management Jumpstart by Barbara J Jackson: Get a thorough introduction to construction management basics and launch Your Construction Management Career—Quickly and Effectively through this guide Written by an expert with over 20 years of experience as a licensed contractor.
- Construction Project Management by Alison Dykstra: This is the new, updated, and expanded edition of the bestselling text giving the basics of designing, developing, and constructing buildings and communities and the right way to know everything about construction Projects Management.
- Construction management by Netscher: Provides essential reading for project owners and project managers explaining the basic concepts of construction management, sharing useful, practical construction management information with invaluable tips, insights, examples, and advice.
- Project Management for the Unofficial Project: Manager Kory Kogon: This is a nice resource to help you coordinate and manage projects even if you aren’t formally trained in managing projects and act as an unofficial project manager successfully.
- Successful Construction Project Management by Paul Netscher: This gives you the ability to identify the things to be done to successfully manage your projects and helps you avoid those little commissions and omissions that can spell disaster for the entire project.
- Construction Project Management by Frederick Gould and Nancy Joyce: This book gives you all facets of successful construction project management in today’s complex environments and. Introduces all key players in the process, walks through each project phase, and presents tools for effectively managing both people and projects.
- Project Management For Dummies by Stanley E. Portnoy: This one of the bestselling ‘bible’ of project management and helps you do your project management in today’s time-crunched, cost-conscious global business environment, helping you meet the tight project deadlines and stringent expectations successfully.
- Running a Successful Construction Company by David Gerstel: A builder writes this book with decades of experience in running a highly respected and successful construction operation demystify the day-to-day challenges that contractors face.
- Estimating Building Costs for the Residential and Light Commercial Construction Professional, by Del Pico, Wayne J: A book to succeed in the construction business—step-by-step guidelines for estimating and to become competitive through complete and accurate estimates for labor and material costs.
- Principles & Practices of Commercial Construction by Andres P.E. Retired, Cameron K. and Ronald C. Smith: A practical, well-rounded approach to modern construction principles and practices and teaches you how to apply design theory to the construction process, providing crucial working knowledge for contractors managing subcontractors.
With a formal education and field experience in the construction industry, you can become a successful commercial general contractor, and with the above resources, you can get more qualified and become the vital element in the successful management of large commercial construction projects.