Disclaimer Note: The content in is blog is just for informational purposes ONLY. We ARE NOT licensed, certified, or a party/entity to provide licensing. Please refer to your state’s board on current processes for where and how to get your license.
If you’re looking for a new career or just starting out, one of the most rewarding and reliable fields to settle into is construction. Regardless of how the world may change, people will always be needed to design, build, repair, and maintain the structures we rely upon for shelter, work, and leisure.
In the gorgeous state of Oregon, anyone who wishes to enter this field is required to have a license. Any sort of job that requires construction knowhow, from HVAC maintenance and roofing to plumbing and carpentry, needs an appropriate license.
If you’re unsure of where to go from there, becoming a general contractor is a reliable and worthwhile career path. In this role, you would get to experience a bit of everything!
In addition to overseeing projects, general contractors also work with various regulatory agencies to ensure that everything is above the board during construction and renovation.
At OnePointe Solutions, we have become a trusted vendor among general contractors in Oregon and across the nation, to be their one-stop shop for many of their projects.
From structurally sound custom laboratory casework, quality fume hoods, gorgeous stainless steel cabinets, and durable ESD workbenches to sleek plastic laminate casework, maple block countertops and more. Our vast range of products is at their disposal.
For more information about general contractor licensing in Oregon, keep scrolling and read on!
Job Description: General Contractor
When people think of a contractor, most will immediately imagine someone in overalls and a hard hat. Detail-oriented thinkers may even add on some steel-toed boots.
However, general contractors are much more than hands-on laborers. As a general contractor, you would also be required to handle the more formal aspects of a worksite.
In fact, the first job of any general contractor doesn’t require a tool or some sawhorses. Every job that a general contractor oversees begins by consulting a construction estimator.
Together, the pair compile a list of resources, plans, labor requirements, and equipment needs. These are compiled into a bid.
As an example, let’s assume that the job at hand is to update and refurbish a worn out classroom laboratory.
First, the general contractor and construction estimator in this scenario would first consider what the plans were. After creating a plan, they would figure out what the most feasible material choices would be.
Any additional work, such as plumbing and fixture replacement, will also be taken into consideration.
Once all of this information is ready, the general contractor will start looking for a company willing to take the bid. When this is secured, the general contractor may opt to hire on-site supervisors, or they may oversee the site personally.
A mix of remote monitoring and in-person supervision is also commonly used.
At this stage, a general contractor’s duties and responsibilities become apparent. All general contractors are required to handle:
- Contractual and budget negotiations
- Obtaining the necessary permits and legal documents
- Oversight of a project’s progress and execution
- Quality assurance
- Worker and workplace safety
- Scheduling around individual worker needs, holidays, and weather
For the bid, let’s say a general contractor won it and came to us to update the classroom laboratory. We design and manufacture stainless cabinets, metal cabinets or even plastic laminate cabinets, depending on the nature of experiments being done in the room.
In addition, a fume hood would be supplied for more serious assignments, along with epoxy or phenolic resin countertops for their strength and strong chemical resistance and finally laboratory chairs for the students and instructor to comfortably learn and teach while sitting. If needed we can also create custom science classroom workstations outfitted with casters, drawers, writing surfaces and more to promote teamwork and collaboration among the kids as well.
Special Skills & Qualifications
As with all jobs, the work of a general contractor relies upon skill and personal expertise. It may not be for everyone, but it tends to be a fulfilling career for those who can handle it.
General contractors often share a variety of personal traits, each of which helps them manage the high stakes nature of the job. Ideal traits for a general contractor include:
- An ability to work well under pressure
- Amazing teamwork and leadership abilities
- A detail-oriented mindset, perhaps bordering on perfectionism
- General charisma and strong personal communication skills
- Adaptability, particularly when it comes to learning new skills
- Compassion and empathy
- Great time management and multitasking ability
- An affinity for high stress situations
Outside of personal traits or learned habits, general contractors will also need to have a few skills ready. General contractors must also have previous experience and demonstrable ability when it comes to:
- Reading, interpreting, and executing design blueprints
- Understanding construction industry jargon
- Safety rules and regulations
- Budgeting expertise
Qualifications to Become a General Contractor in Oregon
In Oregon, general contractor licensing is handled by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (OCCB). In addition to general contractors, anyone involved in construction is required to register through this regulatory agency.
Applicants must also submit a payment with their documentation; the fee for general contractors is $325.
Before considering this, however, potential applicants need to first take the required educational courses. Unless you have already passed the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors, you will need to engage in at least 16 hours of verified law and business practice training.
The level of experience required to become a licensed general contractor in Oregon will depend upon what area you wish to work in. Some construction, particularly residential, will require less experience than others. Experience in Oregon is shown through endorsements.
There are nine types of residential endorsements and three commercial endorsements. Depending on how in-depth the projects you’re looking to manage will be, you’ll need an endorsement level of one or two on a commercial level.
A level one endorsement for commercial construction requires four years of experience, while a level two endorsement needs eight years of experience.
Once you have proof of your NASCLA examination or pre-licensing education and the necessary endorsements, you can then schedule Oregon’s required CCB exam. This test costs $60 and must be scheduled in advance.
In order to pass, applicants must accurately answer at least 70% of the questions.
All general contractors in Oregon are required to have the necessary bonds and liability insurance. Surety bonds are required, as is proof of worker compensation for all construction workers hired by a general contractor.
For more information on the required financial documentation in Oregon, visit the state’s CCB website.
Public works projects with an estimated cost exceeding $100,000 are required to have additional bonds.
Oregon General Contractor Licensing Fee Overview
Excluding the required financial documentation and insurance, becoming a general contractor in Oregon is fairly straightforward and affordable. General contractors who have not previously taken the required test should expect to pay $385.
Otherwise, renewing your license, which should be done every two years, costs $325.
The overall breakdown for the costs involved in obtaining a general contractor license in Oregon is as follows:
- $325 for the application
- $60 for the CCB test
- $50+ for the required 16 hours of pre-exam training
For a more detailed breakdown of the costs, visit Oregon’s CCB website.
Average Oregon General Contractor Salary & Benefits
In addition to good insurance, a general contractor in Oregon generally earns between $46,000–125,000 per year. However, the overall pay and benefits will vary.
Employment status (whether or not you’re self-employed), number of jobs, and overall experience will influence the pay you’ll receive as a general contractor.
The Path to Become a General Contractor in Oregon
If you’re ready to take the plunge, then this is the best time to lay out your game plan. Here’s an outline of the steps you should take to obtain the required license:
1. Complete Training & Education
This includes the NASCLA exam or 16 hours of pre-examination training. Having a high school diploma or GED will help you a lot!
2. Get Endorsements
Each project you plan to work on will need a different type of endorsement; the Oregon CCB website has a handy chart for referencing which endorsement you’ll need.
3. Obtain Proof of Insurance & Documentation
If you’re in charge of a workforce or company, every worker on site will need individual proof of worker’s compensation as well as liability insurance. You’ll also need personal proof of the appropriate surety bonds. More information on this topic is available at Oregon’s CCB website.
4. Submit Application
Ensure that your packet includes everything that you’ll need; your bonds, proof of education, payment, and test results should all be enclosed. In addition to cash and check, payment is also available through Visa and MasterCard. Send all of this information to the appropriate location:
P.O. Box 14140
201 E. High St, Ste. 600
Salem, OR 97309-5052
Keep in mind that, if you plan to work as an independent general contractor, you’ll also need to file additional business documentation. Oregon has a handy packet on starting a business and properly registering it, which you can access through their State website.
Need Help with Your Project?
If you’re a general contractor in Oregon or another state in the U.S. and have a project that requires laboratory cabinets, stainless steel casework, fume hoods, and any other variety of industrial construction, we can help! Getting a 100% free consultation is as simple as calling us, at (866) 222-7494. You can even reach us online, through our convenient contact form.