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How to Become a General Contractor in Houston
General contractors manage a variety of tasks for construction projects and ensure all jobs are completed by a deadline, within budget and to specifications. To become a general contractor, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree or have substantial experience in the construction sector. There are no specific licenses required in the state of Texas to become a general contractor, but you do need one if you also offer services in HVAC, fire sprinkler systems, plumbing, electrical works, or as a well drilling or pump installation specialist.
Devise a plan. It should include your educational and operating expenses, projected revenue, funding sources, marketing and other profit strategies. Identify your business competitors by analyzing the Houston area, and assess ways to fit in and become successful.
Earn a bachelor's degree in building science, construction engineering or construction science. You will get a thorough knowledge of site planning, project control and development, cost estimation, construction methods, design and value analysis, scheduling, building codes and standards, mathematics of building and information technology. You can also earn a master's degree in construction management.
Work in the industry if you do not have the necessary funding to attend a degree program. The experience may be in any area related to the construction sector, such as plumbing, carpentry or electrical works. This can be obtained through internship, construction field job, cooperative education program or apprenticeship. Based on your options, you can choose and earn experience. However, if you earn a degree along with your hands-on experience, you can become a general contractor in construction management companies or large construction companies.
Obtain the necessary licenses in your area or county to meet local requirements. Though there is no need for a state license, there may be locality requirements within Houston in your county. Check with your local courthouse for specific regulations concerning general contractors.
Obtain designations such as certified construction manager or certified professional constructor from the Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Constructors. You will need work experience and education to qualify, and you must pass specific examinations for certification.
Obtain a client base from your previous experience or work with a large construction company.
Alexander Cequea has been writing since 2008. He is an activist, speaker and film producer whose work has been featured in "Enlightennext Magazine" and the Environmental News Network. Cequea is currently producing a documentary about sustainability and consciousness. He has a Master of Business Administration in sustainable business from Maharashi University.