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Among the small towns and acres of farmland, there’s always something happening in Nebraska. It’s more common for folks in Nebraska to own massive acres of land, thereby making construction a prominent industry there.
If you want to manage construction, you should consider becoming a general contractor. General contractors work on construction sites from start to finish and are in charge of hiring employees and ordering construction materials.
At OnePointe Solutions, we’ve worked with countless general contractors, across the country, to provide them with high-quality laboratory casework, industrial furniture, custom workbenches, and plastic laminate cabinets for their wide range of projects.
Back to our guide, Nebraska’s general contractor license requirements are more unique than other states. In Nebraska, all license registration occurs through the Nebraska Department of Labor’s online contractor registration portal.
In this guide, we’ll provide more details behind the general contractor’s application process in Nebraska.
Job Description: General Contractor
We’ll soon dive into Nebraska’s general contractor requirements, but first, we must understand a general contractor’s work schedule. General contractors manage construction, handling the whole project from beginning to end.
Before general contractors are tasked with managing a job site, they must compile a detailed bid for the desired project. In collaboration with construction estimators, general contractors put together a bid using an itemized list of estimates including materials, tools, equipment, labor, and more.
As the bidding process is quite complicated, you should first familiarize yourself with it. Issues are inevitable during construction.
Before and during a project, you will have to anticipate a number of possible issues that may require additional financing.
Once your bid is accepted, you’ll coordinate scheduling, purchase and rent materials, and hire subcontractors for the job site. In reference to a bid, let’s say that one was created for an electronics manufacturing plant.
These kinds of facilities are unique, for they need specific kinds of industrial furniture to make sure production, testing, and shipping all run smoothly.
In this case, we would design and manufacture custom workstations, ideally, ESD workbenches and IT/LAN workbenches for probable testing and production. We can even outfit the workbenches with specific features like grounding, removable shelving, suspended drawers, and even have them on casters for easy mobility around the plant as well.
For shipping of the electrical equipment to customers, we can create packing stations to perfectly fulfill the needs of the facility to increase or enhance shipping and receiving operations as well industrial storage solutions to make sure the parts, components, and other pieces of equipment are organized at all times. Perfectly keeping the plant clean and neat 24/7.
At OnePointe Solutions, we can satisfy virtually any job!
Coming back to a general contractor’s work style, they can also decide whether they want to work on or off a job site. Some general contractors prefer to work on-site during a project’s entirety so they can oversee what occurs daily, while some would rather hire on-site managers to take over daily tasks.
Regardless, general contractors monitor the safety and efficiency of a construction site.
General contractors manage the following:
- Crew safety
- Equipment and site safety
- Permits and street closures
- Anticipating weather conditions and scheduling accordingly
- Enforcing quality and safety standards
Special Skills & Qualifications
Every state has its own qualifications for the construction industry. However, special skills are beneficial in any industry.
Special skills are often innate, but can also be learned, particularly as you acquire experience in the construction industry. Special skills and qualifications that are ideal for general contractors include:
- Ability to read building plans and blueprints
- Building/construction skills
- Excellent time management and organizational skills
- Attention to detail
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Budget and purchasing experience
- Comfortable working with new people
- Able to learn quickly and in stressful situations
- Concern for the wellbeing of others and a touch of perfectionism
Qualifications to Become a General Contractor in Nebraska
The requirements for aspiring general contractors in Nebraska are minimal compared to other states, but you still need to register with Nebraska’s Department of Labor website and provide proof of business and identity. The only exemptions to needing a contractor’s license in Nebraska are people who perform work on their own property or who earn less than $50,000 per year.
Electricians need a separate license, and plumbers are regulated locally or municipally.
Nebraska does not require formal education for general contracting. Many successful general contractors around the country do not have college degrees.
Generally, you must be over the age of 18 and have a high school degree or equivalent. Once you meet those requirements, you may then apply to positions in construction.
If you want to go to college or a trade school, focus on an area that will support your future career in construction. Formal degrees in architecture, engineering, mechanics, and construction management are all useful, but not necessary.
Similarly, attending a trade school can help you become more experienced and qualified for your future career.
The more experience you can get while pursuing a career in construction, the better. General contractors manage an entire project, but also need to recognize potential obstacles on any job site.
General contractors are most successful when they expose themselves to as many areas of construction as possible. You may be required to take on some dirty jobs in your first few years of construction, but remember, this is all part of the learning process.
Nebraska’s licensing process is fairly straightforward. The Nebraska Department of Labor website defines a contractor as “any person who engages in the business of construction and includes subcontractors, general contractors, and any other person arranging for the performance of work on real property.”
For a contractor’s license, you must register with the Nebraska Department of Labor website, provide proof of your identity, business, workers’ compensation insurance if you manage employees, contracting services, liability insurance, and tax information, and apply. Find out more via the Nebraska DOL’s Contractor Registration User Manual.
Currently, Nebraska does not require general contractors to take or pass an exam.
Proof of business is enforced when applying to be a general contractor in Nebraska. Business information includes business entity type (LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.), federal tax ID number, social security number (if applicable), business name DBA, official business name (if applicable), business mailing address, business phone number, business cell phone number.
To learn more about starting a general contracting business, check out our guide below:
Nebraska has a few surety bond requirements, depending on the business and scope of the project. A surety bond’s cost depends on the bond’s total amount, contractor’s cost, and the applicant’s finances.
Check local bond companies for ideal rates.
If you’re a contractor managing one or more employees in Nebraska, you must apply for an updated Certificate of Insurance and list yourself as the certificate holder.
Nebraska General Contractor Licensing Fee Overview
All applicants in the State of Nebraska can expect the following annual fee for licensing and registration: $40.
The fee can be paid via the online payment portal online or by check sent through the mail, addressed to:
Nebraska Department of Labor, Labor Standards
550 S. 16th Street
Lincoln, NE 68509
Average Nebraska General Contractor Salary & Benefits
There are plenty of construction opportunities for general contractors in Nebraska. If you wish to become a licensed general contractor, you can expect to make $112,125 or $54 per hour.
This is 9% lower than the national average. An entry-level general contractor earns an average salary of $78,250. A senior-level general contractor earns an average salary of $139,391.
The Path to Become a General Contractor in Nebraska
Now that we’ve learned more about how to become a general contractor in the State of Nebraska, let’s review:
1. Complete Basic Education
Complete your high school education or obtain a GED. After your basic education is finished, you can apply and register for a job in construction.
2. Acquire Experience
Network with new connections in the construction industry, gain plenty of exposure and apply to relevant jobs. As you acquire experience in construction, you’ll understand more about the industry and feel more prepared during the registration process.
3. Register Via Nebraska’s DOL
The application process in Nebraska isn’t extensive compared to other states, but you must register with the Department of Labor online, providing proof of your business and identity. All registration is done through the DOL online contractor registration portal.
4. Prepare Necessary Documents and Information
For the contractor license application, you will need the following:
- Identity Information
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Business Information
- Entity type
- Federal Tax ID Number
- Social Security Number (if applicable)
- Business Name DBA
- Official business name (if applicable)
- Business mailing address
- Business phone number, cell phone number
- Services and Employee Information
- Description of contracting services and principal products provided, or NAICS code
- Number of employees in the business
- Officers, Members, and Subcontractor Information
- Job title
- First and last name
- Subcontractors you’re using on the project
- Insurance Information
- Nebraska Unemployment Insurance Number
- Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Contractors liability insurance coverage
- Tax Options
- Option 1: Contractor — collects and remits sales tax — tax-free inventory
- Option 2: Contractor — tax paid inventory
- Option 3: Contractor — remits use tax — tax fee-inventory
See more details here.
5. File a Construction Permit
If you are any kind of contractor in Nebraska, you will need a construction permit at both the city and county levels. You will apply for a permit through the same DOL online portal.
To apply per construction project, you will need information about which Nebraska county you’re working in, anticipated project start and end date, address, total awarded contract amount in dollars, and whether or not you’ll be using subcontractors. The permit will be stored in your business dashboard.
You will also have to register your business with the Department of Revenue and adhere to all regulations.
6. Sign and Submit Application
After you complete the online application through the DOL portal, you must include an e-signature to affirm your authenticity of the information. Once you submit, the portal will ask you if you need to add another business or proceed to payment.
As previously mentioned, you will also need to register your business and apply for a construction permit through the same portal.
7. Pay Annual Fee
The annual fee for a license in Nebraska is $40 and can be paid either online or through the mail. Bear in mind that any additional permits or liability insurance premiums may include extra fees.
If sending the check through the mail, address it to:
Nebraska Department of Labor, Labor Standards
550 S. 16th Street
Lincoln, NE 68509
Need Help With Your Next Project?
If you’re a general contractor in Nebraska or another state in the U.S. and need custom workbenches or other kinds of industrial furniture, give us a call at (866) 222-7494 to speak to a project consultant today.