Taking care of properties is a top priority for many owners in the state of North Carolina. Whether this involves constructing new buildings, investing in upgrades to existing properties, or making repairs to maintain functionality, the need for construction and contract workers is consistent across the state, especially in areas with greater population density.
Maybe you are an aspiring professional who wants to get involved in this industry. Becoming a contractor can be a great career path to pursue whether you are a student looking for your first job or a 20-year worker trying to make a career switch.
Contractors in North Carolina can make a decent salary without having to take a four-year program at traditional universities. These skills are always in demand, so you will be a very marketable hire whether you want to join a general contractor brand or run your own business. Here are some things to know about contracting in North Carolina.
The first step in becoming a contractor is learning the necessary skills. For young people who have not already chosen a career path, the best solution may be to attend a trade school. Generally, trade schools are less expensive than four-year colleges and they focus more on the specific discipline you are interested in. It also places you in a job much sooner, sometimes just two years. Another aspect of construction education is an apprenticeship, where future contractors will learn by shadowing an experienced professional. Some disciplines will even offer online learning experiences, and technologies like virtual/augmented reality make it possible to still learn hands-on skills.
The education stage is all building up to help you obtain a license. There are many types of licensing available to contractors depending on their trades, including general construction, mechanical, and specialties. To start accepting work or to receive a position with a general contractor, you will have to obtain a license in the state of North Carolina. This is true whether you are an employee or a business owner. Once you obtain your license, you will have to keep learning with North Carolina contractor continuing education regulations to maintain your license.
If you want to run your own business as a contractor, then you have to understand finances. Your business will depend on a balance between expenses and revenue, and if you are unable to track these numbers, then you could run into a lot of problems as a business owner. If you want financial independence, then you need to analyze cash flow and understand what it means. What does that look like? It means understanding the difference between operating cash flow and free cash flow. You’ll need to know how to identify patterns so you can eliminate wasteful spending and pursue better methods for revenue generation. Small details like interest and taxes will need to be tracked accurately as well. When you understand cash flow principles, you become a better manager of your business.
Marketing Your Services
Becoming a successful contractor in North Carolina means acquiring clients regularly. If you cannot secure contracts for projects, you will not make money. The problem for many independent contractors is that people do not know they exist. This is why marketing is crucial. You need to have a strategy for communicating your services to the target audience and convincing them that your expertise and value are greater than your competitors. Identify your target audience, whether it is residents or commercial owners, and then choose marketing channels that will reach them. Some examples include email marketing, website SEO, local newspaper or TV ads, promotional products, and social media.
Another barrier that independent contractors have to overcome is the cost of equipment. To do your job well, you need a complete set of tools and access to heavy equipment that property owners may not have. They are not just paying for your expertise after all, they are paying for your ability to complete the project, which includes having the equipment to do so. Purchasing this equipment might require you to take out a small business loan. Without the proper tools, people may not be interested in hiring you. You should at the very least have a reliable supplier that you can rent equipment from for specialized jobs.
Becoming A Contractor Takes Commitment But Yields Many Benefits
When you look at what it takes to be a contractor in North Carolina, it can be overwhelming. Although there is a shorter educational path than many other professions, there are still several years of work to be done. Between the license, equipment, and all the business logistics, you might question if this career path is worth it. At the end of the day, if you can overcome these obstacles, you will be entering a field that has consistent customers, a good salary, and the chance to work with your hands. If that is something you are passionate about, then life as a contractor might be ideal.