How to Become a Construction Subcontractor

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While general contractors are responsible for completing the construction projects of hospitals, schools, businesses and even government, subcontractors are hired by the general contractor to work on a specific piece of the construction. Instead of being responsible to the entity paying for the construction, the subcontractor reports to the general contractor and is paid by the general contractor to complete the work. While you may want to become a general contractor and supervise the construction, you should start by learning how to become a construction subcontractor.

Establish a construction service to offer. Subcontractors are usually hired because they have a special expertise in construction such as plumbing, carpentry, roofing or installing drywall. You should become trained in a particular area to ensure that you have services to market as a subcontractor.

Inform general contractors of the services you provide. Once you can perform a particular specialty well, you can let the general contractors in your area know that you are available if they need any subcontractors. They should begin to send you bid information in which you can bid to get a job from them, and they may even call you in on a job if the subcontractor currently working for them is not performing up to par.

Perform outstanding work. Your reputation in the construction field is important, and it can be a huge factor in whether you get a subcontracting job. General contractors will quickly find out whether you are a person that can be counted on for good craftsmanship and meeting deadlines or one who shows up every late and does sloppy work.

Submit comparable bids on time and as requested. When the general contractors send you a subcontracting project to bid on, it is important that you meet the date and time deadline requested by the general contractor. If you can’t even get your bid in on time, how will you handle meeting a construction deadline? In addition, it is important that you make bids comparable to competing subcontractors, and you submit them by the manner in which they are requested such as mail, fax or email.


Developing a friendship with general contractors can lead to job offers since they are most likely to give them to people they know and trust. It can be beneficial to join an organization such as the American Subcontractors Association.


Most states require that as a subcontractor you obtain your own insurance rather than be covered by the insurance of the general contractor.