A general contractor is responsible for overseeing construction work sites and ensuring that projects are completed efficiently. An understanding of building methods, materials and codes is necessary in this field. Courses aim to prepare students for certification exams, requirements for which can vary by state. Classes are available for professional development and personal enrichment, and they are not typically part of a degree program.
Concepts discussed in contractor courses can vary widely and may include:
- Safety codes
- Project management
- Basic and specialized construction principles
- Blueprint reading
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List of General Contractor Courses
General Contractor License Preparation Course
Licensing requirements for general contractors vary by state; therefore, interested individuals should take a license preparation course that covers their state's regulations. Students learn how to gain approvals, permits and licenses. They study project management, construction contracts and procedures, and building and safety codes. They come to understand bid evaluation, subcontracts and contract closeouts.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Course
General contractors interested in green buildings may find this course valuable. Students enrolled in this course learn about LEED's responsibilities and requirements. They study the LEED rating system, implementation, and documentation. A building project may be LEED-certified, a credential administered by U.S. Green Building Council (usgbc.org).
Job Estimating Course
Students hone their skills in estimating job length, costs (labor and material) and materials and crew members needed. Additional subjects of study may include pricing techniques, types of estimates, and profit markups. Students learn to correlate the project costs with design, implementation and scheduling to provide accurate estimates. Students are introduced to software used in construction estimating.
Laws and Contracts Course
This course may introduce students to basic construction law, claim avoidance, and contracts. In addition, students may explore contract language, contract structures, liens and notes of termination and acceptance. Students will also learn how to settle contract disputes. Other topics include bidding, contract types, subcontracts, negotiations, job site investigations, and job closeout.