General Contractor Salary
Job Description for General Contractor
A general contractor oversees a variety of construction projects. Normally, the contractor is called in when someone wants to create a new building for business or residential purposes; however, contractors may also work in remodeling and renovation of existing structures as well. The general contractor assesses the work to be done and directs various construction crews to accomplish these tasks.Read More...
One of the chief skills of a general contractor is an ability to accurately estimate the costs of work to be done, taking into account, time, labor, and materials. Accuracy in bidding these estimates to potential customers is essential. The contractor then works with architects or designers to discern specifications for the project. Finally, the contractor assigns his or her construction teams to execute the building or renovations to be performed. In some cases, the general contractor may bring in sub-contractors to perform specialized tasks such as carpentry, electrical, or roofing work. Throughout all of these processes, however, the general contractor must perform inspections of the work being performed, assess the methods used by workers, and ensure work proceeds in line with agreed-upon specifications.
Many general contractors begin their careers as part of construction and building crews. While technical school degrees in construction, carpentry or a related field may be useful, work experience is valuable in this field. General contractors work in a variety of environments, both indoors and outdoors. In some areas of the country, their work may be seasonal and weather-dependent, although many contractors adjust scheduling so that indoor work is performed when the climate prohibits outdoor work.
General Contractor Tasks
- Generate cost estimates for labor, materials, equipment, and permits necessary to complete a project.
- Plan and manage a construction project, coordinating labor, materials, and equipment, hire and supervise subcontractors.
- Make sure all government regulations are followed, proper permits are obtained, and required inspections carried out.
- Monitor project progress to ensure it stays on time and within budget.
- Negotiate contract terms with clients and work with clients and architects to create project plans.
Common Career Paths for General Contractor
Although it's unusual, some General Contractors transition into jobs as Construction Project Managers. The latter group reports earning a slightly lower median of $75K per year, though. When General Contractors are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Construction Project Managers or Construction Superintendents. Those roles pay an additional $6K and $5K, respectively.
General Contractor Job Listings
Search for more jobs:
Popular Skills for General Contractor
Survey takers working as General Contractors report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Contractor Management, Operations Management, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 29 percent, 20 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Those listing Roofing Materials Installation as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Drywall and Painting also typically command lower compensation. Most people experienced in Construction Estimating also know Carpentry.
Pay by Experience Level for General Contractor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $42K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $57K. General Contractors bring in $71K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $79K.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 47 percent, General Contractors in Los Angeles receive some of the highest pay in the country. General Contractors will also find cushy salaries in Fort Lauderdale (+33 percent), Seattle (+26 percent), San Diego (+23 percent), and Tampa (+22 percent). The lowest-paying market is New York, which sits 22 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Workers in Philadelphia and St. Louis earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (18 percent less and 6 percent less, respectively).
Related Job Salaries
Key Stats for General Contractor
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 109 votes.