Definition of a General Contractor


A general contractor is the person who is principally responsible for a building or reconstruction project. The general contractor hires additional workers and oversees the job, ensuring that it is completed to the client's satisfaction.


  • A degree isn't required to become a general contractor, and some people do attain the position through relevant work experience. However, developers often look for candidates with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, construction technology or management, or building science.


  • Most general contractors have a particular area of expertise, focusing largely on that type of construction site, such as residential buildings.


  • The general contractor must be at the project site each day until the work is finished, ensuring that the budget is adhered to, hiring subcontractors, scheduling workers, obtaining licenses and permits, ensuring safety rules and building codes are followed, and supervising the workflow.

Work Conditions

  • The job of a general contractor can be stressful, requiring regular problem solving, long hours and noisy conditions. However, it also offer a variety of interesting projects to work on. As of 2010, the median income for the profession was $69,870.

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