From the moment you graduate high school, there’s the burning question that everyone seems to want to know: what do you want to do with your life? You, of course, have the traditional route of going to college like everyone else; But what if you don’t want to go to college? Does that mean you’re going to be on a downward spiral to a less than successful life?
Of course, not.
In fact, did you know that only 27% of college graduates are working jobs that were their college major? The rest of college graduates are working jobs that they didn’t go to school for, and have insurmountable college debt. And for what? To work a job they didn’t even go to school for. That reason alone is why it’s so important to keep your options open for the direction you want your life to go in, no matter what stage in life you’re in.
With that being said, more and more people are seeing the aftermath of a college education, only to work in a field your college education didn’t cover. Because of that, people are looking into careers within skilled trades, and more particularly, in contractor work.
There are many great benefits of becoming a contractor, like the freedom and flexibility of creating your own schedule and work hours, the ability to work with your hands, and getting educated to become a contractor is a lot more affordable than going to a four-year college or university. On top of that, there is always a high demand for contract work, so unemployment will be the least of your worries.
But, that doesn’t mean that you should just automatically jump on board and start making moves to become a contractor without taking some important factors into consideration first.
Becoming a contractor can be a very lucrative and rewarding career choice, but there are some areas you’ll want to look at to determine if contract work is the best career path for you. Here are some of the top considerations to think about.
Working as a contractor puts you at the forefront of a number of risks, with the top being overexertion and slips, trips, and falls, especially in construction. According to OSHA, construction workers suffer injuries and fatal injuries due to the construction industry’s Fatal Four:
- Struck by an object
- Caught in between an object
It’s important to understand the dangers and risks you’ll face on a day-to-day basis. That reason alone is why it’s vital to practice construction safety habits daily and to make sure your crew members are following those safety precautions as well. This will ensure construction sites are safe and employees are being safe.
The process of becoming a contractor and getting licensed is relatively affordable. But if you’re hoping to start your own business, you’re going to be looking at some considerable upfront costs.
Unless you have thousands and thousands of dollars rolling in, you’re more than likely going to need to seek funding to get your business off the ground. You’re going to need clearing equipment, provide training for crew members, PPE for crew members, transport vehicles, and many other things that will require money you don’t have on hand.
All of that will require the assistance of a business loan. You will need to devise a business plan laying out all expenses as well as the loan amount you need to get your business up and running. That among other factors will play a significant role in determining if you get approved for the loan.
All too often, you see contractors working “under the table” as unlicensed contractors, all because they feel the process of getting licensed is too tedious, and it’s actually quite the opposite. To obtain your contractor’s license, it’s simply a matter of acquiring the right study materials, taking the time to study those materials, then passing the test… simple as that.
If you’re already working a full-time job, it will mean that you’ll have to dedicate some of your free time to studying. The question is if your schedule will allow you to study or if you even have the energy to do so.
What Type of Work You Want to Do
As someone looking to become a contractor, it’s important you know there are several different sectors of contract work. The most common is general contracting, like building on residential and commercial sites. But then there are niche-specific sectors as well, like plumbing, electrical, concrete, landscape, HVAC, and many more. Figure out the type of work you’re most passionate about and you’ll never work a day in your life.
There are more important factors to consider but the few listed above are some important ones that should be at the forefront of your mind before making such a life-changing decision.