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How to Become a General Contractor in Ontario

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As a general contractor, you will need to manage a variety of tasks related to construction projects and make sure that all the planned works are completed within budget, by deadline and according to the specified conditions. You will need a business license from your city and business insurance for your clients to become a general contractor in Ontario. General contractors must possess work experience or a good technical education in the field.

Plan your educational and operating expenses, projected revenue, funding sources, marketing strategies and ways to increase your profits. Determine your competitors by a search through the Ontario province and assess ways to fit into the market.

Obtain a bachelor's degree in Building Science, Construction Engineering or Construction Science, and gain 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. In order to get better job prospects, plan for a master's degree in your area of interest.

Get experience in the construction field. Experience in this field such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, gas technology or air conditioning mechanics is acceptable. Obtain these experiences through internship, apprenticeship, a cooperative education program or a construction field job. An educational degree along with this experience can help you land a position in large construction companies.

Obtain your contractor's license based on the city or county you live in in the Ontario province. Though a specific license is not necessary in Ontario for employment, you may need it to enter into a written contract with a contractor in cities like Toronto. In Toronto, a construction license is necessary for roofers, bricklayers, carpenters, concrete workers, insulators, flooring contractors, or window installers. In short, the subcontractors working for a general contractor must also have a license, according to the City of Toronto Municipal Code. And Hamilton code requires a license for building maintenance and repair in addition to the above. Check with your provincial code and obtain the necessary license.

Obtain a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) to apply for trades such as plumbing, gas fitting, or septic installation. You must finish an apprenticeship program and pass the provincial qualification exam to get the C of Q.

Obtain a client base through contacts in previous jobs or work with a construction management company.

Join Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) to stay current on the recent developments in the industry.


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.

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