|Program Levels||Individual classes, certificate programs, and associate degree|
|Field(s) of Study||Construction management|
|Prerequisites:||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Format||Fully online programs and hybrid|
|Program Length:||1 year for certificate programs, 2 years for associate's degrees|
|Licensure/Certification||State licensure typically required|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)||5% growth|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)||$87,400|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
General contractors are responsible for overseeing construction, demolition or renovation projects to completion, including the handling of materials, labor and tools. Most states require general contractors to be licensed. Many online courses for general contractors are part of undergraduate and graduate certificate or degree programs in construction management. Others may be offered for license exam preparation purposes or continuing education credits.
Courses and classes for aspiring general contractors are available fully online through a variety of colleges and technical schools. Some courses may also be offered in hybrid format, with seminars, internships or other hands-on training requirements.
Online General Contractor Courses
The following course descriptions detail some of the online courses for general contractors.
- Construction Management Course: Students learn managerial aspects of contracting in this course. Topics include resource management, legal issues and financial planning for a firm in relation to the construction industry as a whole.
- Construction Cost Estimating Course: A range of construction cost estimation methods including computerized takeoff techniques and final bid estimates are taught to students of this course. The course also covers contracting business management topics, such as risk, competition and performance.
- Project Control Course: This class focuses on project implementation methodology using project management software. Students learn scheduling and budgetary development as well as behavioral considerations for efficient and effective construction project control. This course may involve supervised training.
- Legal Aspects of Construction Management Course: Here, students learn about the rules and regulations governing construction project operation, including construction law and code compliance. Contract responsibilities and liabilities of contractors, owners, engineers and third-party subcontractors are discussed in detail.
- Introduction to Building Information Modeling Course: This course teaches the fundamentals of Building Information Management and how the construction industry is changing. Students learn how to use BIM as a communication tool in the construction and contracting process.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for general contractors was $87,400, as of May 2015. The projected job growth for general contractors is 5% average growth.
Aspiring general contractors can find fully online and hybrid courses that cover management strategies, construction cost, project control, legal responsibilities, and introduction to building information modeling course.