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How to Become a General Contractor in New Hampshire

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A career as a general contractor can be fairly lucrative and it can be fulfilling in terms of job satisfaction. According to PayScale, Inc., general contractor average pay for contractors in 2010 ranged from $51,195 to $75,478. General contractors work as a "jack-of-all-trades" by helping people meet their remodeling or general construction needs. In the state of New Hampshire, you cannot, however, just strap on a tool belt and call yourself a contractor. Some specialty services offered by general contractors require a license form the state.

Review the requirements for contractor licensing in the state of New Hampshire and determine which kind of contractor services you will offer. In New Hampshire, general contracting is not as closely regulated as it is in other states. Certain types of services require a license, while others do not. Having a license for each type of service that does require a license can be beneficial by providing you with a range of services to offer. Licensing is needed for plumbing and electrical work, along with lead and asbestos abatement services.

Gain the experience and education necessary to obtain your licenses. Both plumbing and electrical licenses require an associate's degree and 8,000 hours of experience. It would take a considerable amount of time to obtain both licenses, so you may wish to subcontract work in these areas until you are able to obtain your licenses at a later date.

Obtain education in construction management. Although this is not required by state law, taking courses in construction management can provide you the additional insight as to how to run your general contracting business and can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that inexperienced contractors sometimes face. Lakes Region Community College in Laconia and Manchester Community College both offer technical and construction-related certificates and associate degree programs.


Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.