Wood flooring contractors install, finish and repair wood flooring. This profession involves both a technical knowledge of flooring requirements and physical work. Because contractors spend many hours stooping and kneeling, this work can be physically demanding. These craftsmen work with sharp tools and objects, and they must take safety precautions to avoid injury.
Wood flooring contractors should have a mastery of tools and equipment, basic business skills, good interpersonal skills and attention to detail. These professionals are carpenters and in 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that carpenters earned a median wage of $42,090.
Learn the Trade
Aspiring wood flooring contractors can learn basic skills through high school carpentry classes. Courses in math and general woodworking can benefit potential wood floorers. Additional coursework can be taken at a vocational school through a general construction or carpentry program.
An invaluable way to learn the trade is through an apprenticeship program. These programs supply valuable on-the-job training as well as contacts within the industry. Apprenticeships are offered by unions, trade associations or other professional associations. They may last up to three years. These programs usually require a combination of classroom time and hands-on training in the field with an experienced contractor. Wood flooring courses can cover topics such as installation, wood finishing and blueprint reading.
Look Into Licensing
Licensing requirements for wood flooring contractors vary by state. There are licensing opportunities available through state agencies and professional trade associations. Requirements for a construction contracting license might include filing as an individual proprietorship, passing a criminal background check, obtaining liability insurance, taking an exam and paying a licensing fee. To learn more about potential requirements, prospective wood flooring contractors should check with their state's labor department.
Join Trade Association
Wood flooring contractors should also look into joining a trade association. Trade associations provide valuable contacts within the industry and help members stay abreast of relevant regulations, laws and other changes in the field. Two associations of interest for wood flooring contractors are the National Wood Flooring Association and the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association.
Once again, though wood floor contractors aren't typically required to have a formal education, many choose to learn the trade through apprenticeships before researching licensure requirements in their state.