Leveling-Up: 3 Steps for Establishing Yourself in the Contracting Industry

Sometimes in all the busyness of our lives and with much of the world’s focus still on the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that the working men and women take a backseat and not much attention is paid where it’s due. And the fact is, without trade workers, much of our world’s infrastructure would simply crumble.

Those who want to make their way into the contracting industry are among the few who know how to build things and keep our society running smoothly. And if you’re thinking about establishing yourself within this industry, you’ll have a few pathways to consider.

If you haven’t yet got your feet wet along the shores of the trading world, you’ll have to start somewhere. And doing so comes along with a step-by-step plan.

Here, we’ll explore 3 steps for breaking into the contracting industry.

1. Education and Experience

Most men and women who enter the contracting world do so by learning valuable skills and experience on the job. Many actually learn these skills before even graduating high school through vo-tech classes, summer jobs, or by helping out friends and family with small projects.

If you’re looking to make the most out of a contracting career, you’ll want to ensure that you have the best education possible. As such, many top earners in the trading world achieve certificates or degrees in engineering, drafting, industrial engineering, architectural design, and other related disciplines. And this allows them to go on to become independent contractors, government contractors, and city planners.

But if you do not want to spend several years in school, getting experience by working on the job is your first step for learning the necessary skills that will allow you to become certified as a contractor in your state.

2. Getting Certified

Along the path to becoming an established contractor in your local community, is to get certified in your state. And getting certified comes with some attractive benefits.

First of all, most states require that a contractor of just about any discipline be certified to work on projects exceeding a specified dollar value. While this value is different from state to state, at the end of the day, you won’t be able to work on projects or land jobs over a certain dollar value without proper certification.

Getting certified also gives you proof of skill and experience. This is a valuable document to have, especially when you’re first starting out and trying to establish yourself.

For example, it will be fairly difficult to show up to meet a potential client and land a job if you have no proof of your qualifications. But when you become certified in your state, this won’t be a restriction you have to worry about.

3. Build a Business Plan

In the business world, financial plans for small businesses are fundamental to success. Because without a way to manage your business finances, you’ll be unable to set realistic or logical goals for your career as a contractor.

When you operate a small business, many moving parts come into play. And these can range from seasonal trends to consumer trends, and to world economics that may affect how your business operates. As such, it makes sound financial sense to have a plan in place for when business isn’t running as smoothly.

Before you ever build a website or begin marketing yourself, you have to have a means for tracking your profits and expenses. And this is the sole purpose of building a business plan…  without it, success in your industry might be elusive.

Making it as a contractor today can be achieved as long as you take the time to develop your skills and build your business incrementally. And remember, business owners who take the time to plan out their futures often are far more successful than those who don’t.


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