Is Opening a General Contracting Business in Florida Right for You?

If you have a highly logical mind, a steady hand, and a passion for helping others, you might feel unsatisfied in the typical desk job; however, you might also not be sure what the best line of work might be for you.

The world of work has changed immensely in the past few years, with new technology like Artificial Intelligence disrupting many industries, but there’s one job that is always in demand: construction, specifically general contracting. Florida, with its rising population and hot tourism industry, requires new homes and businesses, which ensures a steady stream of service for those who can orchestrate the building process and bring everything to completion.

Is Florida general contracting right for you? Today, we’ll explore the job market, the skills necessary, and the process of opening your own general contracting business.

Construction is Highly in Demand, Particularly in Florida

The United States is currently facing a manual labor shortage: in fact, 2023 recorded an enormous number of open hard hat positions, with unemployment at an all-time low. Contrast this with other areas of industry, where growth has been much slower, and you can see why general contracting is such an in-demand skill at the moment.

This is especially true in Florida due to recent anti-immigration legislation, which has left many job sites empty as the workers that traditionally occupy the field have left. Those who can fill these gaps will find themselves quite busy, especially if they have the in-depth knowledge necessary to see the big picture like general contractors do.

What Skills Are Necessary to Be a General Contractor?

Now that you understand how lucrative the general contractor profession is, it’s time to do some soul-searching and learn whether you can succeed. While many of the skills required for the profession can be taught, others are innate qualities that must be nurtured.

The first ones are obvious: you have to have a good understanding of the construction industry, including how to perform the tasks involved in building a home. These are the ones which you can learn in trade skills, such as plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work. While you will often delegate these tasks to others, you will be the one held responsible if they are not done to standard, so you should be able to identify and fix issues that may arise.

You’ll also need to have a highly technical mind that can read blueprints and puzzle through math problems on the fly. Quick, logical thinkers do well in construction, as they can problem-solve in the hectic environs of a construction site.

As general contractors are the leaders who oversee projects, you need to have strong project management and leadership skills. This includes good written and verbal communication, but also excellent emotional intelligence: there are many people involved in a construction job, and you must be able to talk directly and empathetically to them to motivate everyone to do their best.

If this sounds like you, great! Now you need to understand exactly how to achieve the status of general contractor.

The Process of Opening a General Contracting Company in Florida

Before you can open a general contracting business in Florida, you need to have the proper skills. Fortunately, many trade schools will teach you all the necessary resources to better understand the construction industry. Here, you will learn a variety of different skills, such as reading blueprints, estimating construction costs, complying with building codes, leveraging construction software, and basic trades such as plumbing, electricity, and carpentry.

Once you’ve completed your training, it’s time to become a fully-fledged contractor by passing your exams and earning your license. These tests are quite involved, so you should consider signing up for a Florida general contractor license exam prep course. Study courses allow you to refresh your skills and check that you’ve absorbed all the knowledge you need to succeed.

While you may be tempted to immediately jump into opening your business, it’s often best that you work with another agency first, as then you can see everything that is involved first-hand. Working as a general contractor also involves a good business sense, and this can’t necessarily be taught form a book; you need to be able to see the issues that appear every day and learn how to solve them.

After working for someone else, you can begin the process of opening your own business. You’ll need to register your business and develop contacts throughout the construction industry, proving your worth with every job site you manage. Those who you’ve met in school or worked with in your professional career thus far will be invaluable resources for you while you build a good clientele and garner great reviews.

It takes time and patience to develop a general contractor profession, even in hot markets like Florida, so don’t get discouraged. You have the innate skills and training to succeed; soon enough, you’ll be managing prestigious job sites and delighting customers across Florida with your great work.

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