So, you’re ready to begin general contractor courses—first off, congratulations. It’s a big step, and it takes strength of will and some guts to go from being a laborer to becoming the main overseer on a contract. If you’re about to, or have already enrolled in the training program, here’s what you can expect from your first general contractor courses.
The Vision of a Leader
As you learn the ropes of becoming a general contractor, you will learn how to change your thinking about projects. While before you may have had the perspective of a skilled laborer, becoming a general contractor will require you to have a larger, macroscopic vision.
Your vision will expand to encompass the insights of a laborer, the supervision skills of a foreman, and the administrative knowledge of a business owner. It sounds like a lot, but if you are enrolled in the right general contractor program, in the first courses you’ll learn the foundational skills of becoming a general contractor and build up from there.
Learning to Read Blueprints
One of the primary skillsets that distinguishes a general contractor from a laborer is knowing how to read blueprints. While a laborer can follow instructions or walk into a room and see the work that needs to be done, a general contractor knows the intricate workings of the whole structure.
Learning to read blueprints is one of the most exciting skills you’ll acquire in your first courses as a general contractor. While it’s probably true that Rome wasn’t built in a day, with your blueprint reading skills, you’ll be able to see how it was built and even plan on building your own Rome someday. Without the blueprints, contractors would not be able to complete their work to the exact specifications of the contract. As a general contractor, you will be the general of your contracting crews, leading the way with strategies and in-depth knowledge of completing a project from the ground up.
Recognizing—and Preventing—Workplace Hazards
One of the skills required of general contractors, or managerial positions in general, is not only recognizing issues as they occur but having the foresight to prevent them from happening at all. In your first general contractor courses, you’ll learn all there is to know about avoiding workplace hazards. You’ll recognize what structures and equipment put laborers at risk, what type of training is necessary for employees to prevent them from being put in dangerous situations and more. By acquiring in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of contracting work, you’ll also gain the foresight needed to protect your subcontractors and employees, which in turn will protect your business and its investments.
Estimating the Scope of a Project
Being a general contractor means you won’t have anyone to tell you what the deadline is for a project—you’ll need to tell your workers that. As you develop into a general contractor, you’ll also gain the skills for estimating the entire scope of a project. Determining the of a project can include:
- How to bid
- Length of time to project completion
- Number of laborers required for timely completion of contract
- Amount of time in hours, weeks, or even months to complete the project
- Expenses of materials and equipment needed
- And more.
You’ll also learn how to leave yourself with some flexibility in time and expenses to cover any set-backs due to weather, labor shortage, etc.
Estimating the scope of a project is no small task. But the general contractor courses will equip you with the skills to make those estimates and ensure sure your bids win contracts.
Ultimately, your success in becoming a general contractor will require dedication and determination. The first step to becoming a general contractor, however, is obtaining your contractor’s license. To equip yourself with the necessary license and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in general contracting courses, contact Contractor’s Institute to find out how we can serve you.
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