BUILDING CONTRACTOR: Job Description, Roles, and Salaries (Updated!)

building contractor

A construction contractor’s role is to organize all aspects of a building project. A building contractor must guarantee that the finished project follows the initial drawings and meets the needs of the buyer, in addition to overseeing subcontractors. This article will explain the functions of a building contractor, as well as their licensing, salary in 2023, and how to become one.

Who is a Building Contractor?

A building contractor is not a builder. The builder (without the phrase “contractor”) is the person in charge of facilitating the construction of a house or building. A builder constructs a home, including the foundation, framing, and roofing.

A ‘building contractor,’ on the other hand, handles a more involved procedure to complete the building project, which involves several parts of construction.

Building contractors are classified into two types: residential and commercial. The activities of a residential building contractor mostly comprise supervising the construction of residential homes of any sort, whether row house, detached, etc. Commercial building contractors, on the other hand, undertake building projects on commercial properties.

On a more particular note, a building contractor assumes all direct employees of the people participating in the building project (e.g., residential house) and takes contracts relatively essential in the construction operation.

Roles of a Building Contractor

A building contractor’s roles and qualifications are as follows:

  • Solicits and evaluates bids from subcontractors in order to finish a work.
  • In charge of construction.
  • Deals with papers (securing permits, follow local or national guidelines)
  • Ensures that all building supplies and materials are available.
  • Construction management education is advantageous.
  • Must have worked for a general contractor for several years.
  • Can work on both old and new structures, but isn’t necessarily hands-on when it comes to plumbing, excavation, or rewiring.
  • Checks structural integrity and follows quality assurance procedures
  • Supervises employees to guarantee that the project plan is met on schedule.
  • Hires and fires employees, administers payroll, and compensates those who worked on the project directly.
  • Outline the construction budget as precisely as feasible.
  • Checking that the construction is going well and that all components of the building have been carried out as planned; if not, he guarantees that any necessary alterations are made.
  • Handles any emergency issues that may arise during the project’s implementation, for which several parties need assistance.

A Building Contractors’ Job Description

In a way, a building contractor’s job description includes everything in the construction process — and if they do not physically perform a task, they employ and manage someone who does.

Building contractors’ responsibilities include, but are not limited to…

  • Agreeing on the general terms of the contract with you, the client.
  • Work with you to create a unified vision for your building or remodeling objectives.
  • Create a plan in collaboration with architects, designers, and engineers.
  • Examine the buildability and material options.
  • Determine the impact of building codes, municipal ordinances, HOA rules, and other regulations on a project.
  • Hire subcontractors for specific jobs such as plumbing or electrical work.
  • Plans constructions carefully to avoid a chain reaction of delays.
  • Coordinate with any other parties and subcontractors involved.
  • Communicate with you on progress and ongoing choices throughout the project.

The Relationship Between the Client and The Building Contractor

Your building contractor is your point of contact as the client. The contractor will lobby on your behalf to make that your priorities and goals are realized, such as specific techniques and materials you want to utilize and progress milestones.

You should anticipate meeting and communicate with your contractor during the pre-construction or planning phase of a remodel until the final detail is decided. Depending on the project’s complexity, the contractor will need to discuss a variety of issues and aspects before proceeding.

Throughout the construction process, the building contractor keeps the client informed of progress and communicates with them when modifications occur. Material may be unavailable and must be substituted, or the contractor may choose a cost-cutting or quality-improvement option.

Finally, because the building contractor is the person employed by the customer, you can consider them to be your employee, surrogate, ally, and information resource – as well as the person responsible for all outcomes.

Building Contractor Salary

The average annual salary for a Building Contractor in the United States is $50,307 as of February 2, 2022.

In case you need a quick salary calculation, that works out to about $24.19 per hour. This equates to $967 each week or $4,192 per month.

While ZipRecruiter reports yearly wages as high as $96,500 and as low as $19,500, the bulk of Building Contractor salaries in the United States now ranges from $38,000 (25th percentile) to $52,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) earning $75,000 per year. The average salary range for a Building Contractor varies substantially (up to $14,000), implying that there may be several prospects for promotion and increased income dependent on skill level, location, and years of experience.

According to recent ZipRecruiter job posts, the Building Contractor job market in Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding area is quite active. A Building Contractor in your region earns an annual salary of $50,412 on average, which is $105 (0 percent) higher than the national average of $50,307. Georgia ranks 24th out of 50 states in terms of Building Contractor salary.

What are the Top 10 Cities with the Highest Salary Paying Building Contractor Jobs?

We’ve identified ten cities where the typical Building Contractor salary is higher than the national average. San Francisco, CA tops the list, with Fremont, CA and San Jose, CA close behind in second and third place. San Jose, CA outperforms the national average by $7,601 (15.1%), while San Francisco, CA outperforms the national average by another $11,449 (22.8%).

Significantly, the Building Contractor employment market in San Francisco, CA is highly active, with several organizations now looking for this type of position.


Anual Salary

Monthly Pay

Weekly Pay

Hourly Wage
San Francisco, CA$61,756$5,146$1,188$29.69
Fremont, CA$59,284$4,940$1,140$28.50
San Jose, CA$57,908$4,826$1,114$27.84
Oakland, CA$57,275$4,773$1,101$27.54
Tanaina, AK$57,114$4,760$1,098$27.46
Wasilla, AK$57,113$4,759$1,098$27.46
Sunnyvale, CA$56,405$4,700$1,085$27.12
Hayward, CA$56,075$4,673$1,078$26.96
Jackson, WY$55,775$4,648$1,073$26.82
Norwalk, CT$55,699$4,642$1,071$26.78

With these ten cities having average salaries that are greater than the national average, the chances for economic success as a Building Contractor appear to be extremely profitable.

Finally, another issue to consider is that the average salary in these top ten locations differs just by 10% between San Francisco, CA, and Norwalk, CT, emphasizing the restricted opportunity for wage growth. When comparing location and salary for a Building Contractor career, the likelihood of a cheaper cost of living may be the most important consideration to consider.

What are the top 5 highest salary paying related building contractor jobs in the United States?

We discovered at least five jobs in the Building Contractor category that pay more per year than the average Building Contractor salary. General Contractors, General Engineering Contractors, and Building Systems are a few examples of these positions.

Importantly, all of these positions pay between $21,819 (43.4%) and $65,607 (130.4%) more than the average Building Contractor’s salary of $50,307. If you’re qualified, getting hired for one of these related Building Contractor positions could help you make more money than the average Building Contractor.

Testing, Licensing, and Experiential Learning

Before launching their own contracting businesses, most construction contractors have some knowledge of the construction. Typically, this entails years of experience working for a general building contractor. Prior experience is required in some communities.

Individual counties or municipalities often have tougher licensing rules, which can involve testing, presenting proof of commercial liability insurance, securing surety bonds for specific projects, and limiting the financial scope of a project on which a contractor is allowed to bid. A degree in construction management is advantageous for students who want to become any of the categories of contractors, but hands-on experience is still preferred. Cover Wallet lists state requirements, but you should double-check with your state’s website.

How to Become a Building Contractor

Prior to the 1980s, few building contractors or construction managers had significant formal post-secondary education. However, in the twenty-first century, a growing number of employers, particularly on large projects, want construction managers to have a college education. The job’s complexity has also expanded dramatically, and most modern construction projects require a tremendous lot of knowledge to efficiently manage. Formal education is less important for a small-scale, local building contractor who specializes in house repairs and renovation, but it is important for a general contractor who wants to work on large-scale commercial or residential construction projects.

Earn a degree in construction science, building science, construction technology, or construction management at the associate or bachelor’s level. You’ll learn about business management, accounting, computer-aided design, construction processes and materials, cost estimation, building codes, contract administration, and the fundamentals of architecture and engineering.

In your senior year of high school, apply for internships or cooperative work programs. Experience is incredibly important in the construction sector, therefore even a few months of hands-on construction management will make you a lot more appealing prospect to companies.

Read Also: GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Skills, Roles, Licence Requirements & Salary

Apply for construction jobs with local, regional, or national building contractors or companies. Unless you have contacts or prior experience, you would most likely begin as an assistant contractor or in a related role. Prepare to go through a formal training program if you work for a larger organization, or on-the-job training if you work for a smaller one.

Earn a construction industry professional certification. The Construction Management Association of America offers a certified construction manager curriculum, and the American Institute of Constructors provides skilled construction managers with a certified professional constructor certification. To earn either certification, you must have the required experience and pass one or more construction-related tests.


Most states require you and/or your company to have a general contractor’s license. This usually entails paying an annual fee, passing one or more tests, and fulfilling continuing education requirements.

Building Contractor Job Prospects

Construction management is a rising field. Between now and 2029, available jobs are expected to increase by 8%. A bachelor’s degree in construction management will provide you with the best opportunity of finding work in this industry.

Building Contractor FAQ’s

What is the qualification of building contractor?

To become a licensed contractor, one must have a high school diploma or an associate degree. An associate degree in construction technology is important for obtaining additional knowledge in the field.

How does a building contractor make money?

The contractor might earn a gross profit on both the labor and the product provided by the vendor. At the same time, the contractor can earn a gross profit on the labor and items placed by his own employees as they prepare the project for the installation of what is being built off-site.

Is construction a good career?

Working in construction has numerous advantages, including job security, high economic demand, excellent professional advancement prospects, and, in many circumstances, higher-than-average pay. Strong perks and income, interesting work, and a low entry barrier make jobs in this industry particularly appealing to job seekers.

What is the work of a contractor?

The building contractor is in charge of hiring and overseeing personnel assigned to certain tasks on the construction project. Along the same lines as managing the workers, the building contractor must also handle the workers’ payroll.

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