General Contractor

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A General Contractor oversees construction projects from start to finish, ensuring that each stage of the process runs smoothly. This includes managing workers, coordinating with other professionals such as architects and engineers, and acquiring necessary permits and materials. A key responsibility of a General Contractor is to maintain a project timeline and budget, ensuring that the project is completed on time and within the allocated funds.

General Contractors must have a strong understanding of construction procedures, safety regulations and building codes, as well as excellent communication and organizational skills. They must also be able to quickly resolve any issues that arise during the construction process.

A successful General Contractor job description should include the ability to analyze blueprints and plans, delegate tasks, and make quick decisions. Additionally, General Contractors should have a keen eye for detail and be able to multitask effectively. Overall, General Contractors are crucial to the success of any construction project, and are valued for their ability to efficiently oversee and manage complex projects.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Hire and manage subcontractors for specialized work.
  • Coordinate and oversee the various trades involved in construction.
  • Obtain necessary permits and adhere to building codes and regulations.
  • Develop a project timeline and ensure that work is completed on schedule.
  • Manage project budgets and control costs to stay within budget limits.
  • Handle communication with clients, architects, and engineers regarding project status and changes.
  • Ensure that all work meets quality standards and specifications.
  • Address any issues or complications that arise during construction.
  • Maintain a safe work environment for all workers on the job site.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a General Contractor in the Construction industry, you need a combination of education and experience. Most contractors have a high school diploma or equivalent, but some have higher education like an associate's or bachelor's degree in construction management or a related field. Experience is also crucial, and most contractors start as helpers, carpenters, or other tradespeople and work their way up. They learn through on-the-job experience, apprenticeships, or vocational training programs. Specialized certifications like the Certified Construction Manager or Project Management Professional can also boost your qualifications. Contractors must also have excellent communication, project management, and leadership skills to succeed in this field.

Salary Range

A General Contractor in the construction industry can expect a salary range of $50,000 to $200,000 per year in the United States. The average salary for a General Contractor is around $92,000 per year according to Glassdoor. However, this can vary based on location, experience, and the size of the projects managed.

In Canada, the salary range for a General Contractor is CAD 50,000 to CAD 150,000 per year. In the United Kingdom, the average salary is around £45,000 per year.

It's worth noting that being a General Contractor requires a lot of hands-on experience and expertise in construction management. Individuals with relevant experience and certifications can expect to earn higher salaries.


  • Glassdoor:,18.htm
  • PayScale:
  • SalaryExpert:

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a General Contractor in the Construction industry over the next 5 years is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of construction managers, including General Contractors, is projected to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the increasing demand for infrastructure repairs and new construction projects in both the public and private sectors.

General Contractors are responsible for managing the entire construction process, from ensuring proper permits and licenses to managing construction workers and subcontractors. They are in high demand for their expertise in coordinating and overseeing all aspects of a construction project.

If you're interested in pursuing a career in General Contracting, the future looks promising with steady job growth anticipated over the next 5 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a General Contractor do?

A: A General Contractor oversees and manages construction projects from start to finish, ensuring that everything is done on time, within budget, and to the highest quality standards.

Q: Do General Contractors do any building work themselves?

A: While some General Contractors may perform certain aspects of construction work themselves, such as framing or finishing, their primary role is to coordinate and manage subcontractors who specialize in different areas of construction.

Q: Do I need a General Contractor for my home renovation project?

A: It depends on the scale and complexity of the project. If it involves major structural changes or requires building permits, hiring a General Contractor would be a wise choice to ensure your project is completed safely and up to code.

Q: How do General Contractors get paid?

A: General Contractors are typically paid a percentage of the total construction cost, which is agreed upon before the project begins. Some contractors may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate instead.

Q: What makes a good General Contractor?

A: A good General Contractor has excellent communication and organizational skills, a deep knowledge of construction techniques and materials, the ability to manage budgets and timelines, and strong leadership and problem-solving abilities. They must also prioritize safety and quality in all aspects of the project.

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