Info on Becoming a Snow Removal Contractor

Learn how to become a snow removal contractor. Research the job duties and the licensing requirements and find out how to start a career in snow removal.

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Should I Become a Snow Removal Contractor?

Snow removal contractors are individuals who own and operate their own snow removal businesses. They typically use their own snow plows or other snow removal equipment and are responsible for removing snow from roads, parking lots, driveways and other snow-covered areas during the winter months.

These professionals are typically contracted by businesses, homeowners' associations and county governments to perform snow removal duties, as well as ice prevention and removal. The work tends to be seasonal, and contractors may need other means of support during months with no or little snowfall. Considerable time might be spent seeking new clients or maintaining current customers.

Career Requirements

Degree Level None; associate's or bachelor's in business beneficial
Degree Field Business
Experience 1-3 years of experience operating snow removal vehicles
Key Skills Able to successfully operate a snow plow and/or other snow removal machinery


No degree required to become a snow removal contractor but an associate's or bachelor's in business would be beneficial. Experience requirements varies from 1-3 years of experience operating snow removal vehicles. To be successful in this career, you must be able to successfully operate a snow plow and/or other snow removal machinery.

Steps to Become a Snow Removal Contractor

Let's go over the steps you'll need to take to become a snow removal contractor.

Step 1: Gain Snow Removal Experience

Aspiring snow removal contractors may learn to use and maintain snow removal equipment by working for snow removal companies or contractors. Experience in the snow removal industry exposes future contractors to customer expectations and the contracting process, and it allows them to build work relationships with clients and vendors in the industry. These relationships are crucial for securing future business and dependable resources.

Consider earning a degree in business while gaining experience.

Since snow removal contractors may run their own businesses, they should consider enrolling in a post-secondary business program that will earn them a degree. These programs can help aspiring snow removal contractors develop the skills necessary to successfully establish and operate their own businesses. Courses that may be included in business degree programs include communications, accounting, computer systems, marketing and economics.

Step 2: Devise a Formal Business Plan

Detailing a business plan allows snow removal contractors to anticipate potential issues and needs. A snow removal business plan can include equipment, overhead, potential revenue and contractor goals. A business plan is also necessary to secure outside funding. Since snow removal isn't a year-round business in most locations, contractors often work in landscaping or lawn treatment in warmer months. This factor should also be considered when creating a business plan.

Step 3: Obtain Funding, Licensing and Insurance

Snow removal contractors must have enough funds to cover overhead costs, such as equipment, payroll and insurance. Small businesses seeking a business loan or line of credit from a bank typically need to present a business plan, which details expenses and revenue projections.

Business licenses and permits are mandatory in most locations, but specific requirements vary by state. Snow removal contractors will likely need to acquire an employer identification number if they plan to hire workers, as well as obtain liability insurance to cover equipment and employees. Snow removal contractors must also possess valid driver's licenses. Since licensing and insurance requirements can vary by location, snow removal contractors should contact local officials for specifics.

Step 4: Purchase Equipment and Supplies

Once the proper funding, licensing and insurance has been secured, snow removal contractors may purchase the equipment and supplies they need to get their business started. This may include trucks, snow plows and ice management supplies, such as salt.

Step 5: Seek Clients

Once the snow removal equipment and supplies are in place, contractors can begin seeking out clients. Contractors must have pricing guidelines ready for businesses and individual snow removal contracts. Print and online marketing is also important to attract clients.

Step 6: Consider Certification

Snow removal contractors may consider becoming certified through snow removal associations such as the Snow and Ice Management Association or the Accredited Snow Contractors Association. These associations offer certification opportunities for snow removal contractors that typically include educational programs and exams. These certifications may prove very helpful in marketing projects and overall business success. To maintain these certifications, contractors are required to complete continuing education and pay an annual fee.

To become a snow removal contractor, you'll need to gain experience in the field and then set up your own business by obtaining equipment, funding, licenses, insurance, and clients.

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