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.
For people who want a fast-paced, exciting, and lucrative career, the life of a general contractor is the perfect fit. Rooted in the rewarding act of overseeing a project to completion, the role of a general contractor will never go out of style.
In the dry and mountainous ruggedness of Utah, becoming a general contractor requires a few steps and some prior experience. To learn more, stay with us and continue reading!
Job Description: General Contractor
As a national lab furniture manufacturer company, OnePointe Solutions has worked alongside certified general contractors from every state! Alongside these skilled tradespeople, we’ve handled many renovation projects which include providing chemical-grade epoxy resin countertops for a school and stainless steel cabinets for a pharmaceutical lab to fume hoods for a biotech facility and plastic laminate cabinets for medical offices.
As you can imagine, the job of a general contractor can vary wildly depending on the project.
For some general contractors, their duties will be small; some people choose to focus on interior remodeling, which limits the scope of their projects to things such as remodels, renovations, and functional updates.
On a larger scale, however, a general contractor may work on both the inside and outside of a structure. In this case, the general contractor will likely need some additional help.
It is then their job to oversee the safety, welfare, and scheduling of their workers! A general contractor must be available to lead, create, revise, and negotiate everything from basic plans to new construction prices and labor.
For this guide let’s say a general contractor won a job for a grade school science classroom renovation and was ready to purchase furniture. Coming to OnePointe Solutions, we would design and provide them with student stations whether hex student workstations or custom workbenches to perform tasks and assignments.
Each option comes in standard or custom configurations, is easy to maintain, and can handle the day-to-day of students, teachers, and experiments alike. Last but not least for countertops in the room, we would supply either epoxy resin, phenolic resin, or stainless steel.
They have great chemical resistance, durability and are long-lasting with proper care.
Plus, if needed, we can also provide special lab furniture like fume hoods as well as acid cabinets and/or flammable cabinets to go underneath to house certain liquids and substances. Thus making the lab renovation complete! No matter the job, at OnePointe Solutions, we can help.
If you’re looking to become a general contractor, then you should expect to engage in the following activities on regular basis:
- Negotiating and estimating project costs (labor, materials, and fees)
- Ensuring workplace safety requirements are met
- Providing appropriate paperwork for permits, insurance, and proposals
- Drafting, revising, and interpreting blueprints
- Scheduling shifts, deliveries, and essential services
Special Skills and Qualifications
With all of this on their plate, general contractors often find themselves pulled in many directions at once. As such, the ideal general contractor will have a few key personality traits, such as:
- Magnificent multitasking skills
- An empathetic and charismatic personality
- A level-headed approach to problems
- The ability to readily adapt to sudden situational changes
Moreover, a good general contractor will also need skills to back up their personality. If you become a general contractor, you should expect to constantly use and hone the following skills:
- Knowledge of common construction practices and jargon
- An understanding of up-to-date workplace safety procedures
- The ability to negotiate and haggle
- The ability to read, edit, and interpret plans and blueprints
Qualifications to Become a General Contractor in Utah
In Utah, all construction-related licensing is handled by the state’s Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing, also known as DOPL. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, this agency both renews and issues licenses for contractors and tradespeople.
One of the unique things about Utah is how it handles general contractors. In Utah, a general contractor is legally defined as someone in charge of overseeing construction, though they are explicitly relieved of the responsibility of plumbing, electrical, and elevator maintenance duties for commercial structures.
However, residential contractors can handle these utilities.
Utah has seven major general contractor licenses, each of which allows for different types of work. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the following classifications:
- B100 – General Building Contractors
- E100 – General Engineering Contractors
- R100 – General Residential and Small Commercial Contractors
While four of Utah’s major contractor’s licenses require a master’s degree, this is not required of the three general licenses (B100, E100, and R100). Nonetheless, having a high school diploma, GED, and/or college degree won’t hurt!
Prior to becoming a general contractor, regardless of prior education, all contractors must complete a certified 25-hour course. If you plan on doing electrical or plumbing work yourself, you’ll need to add an extra five hours of instruction, for a total of 30 hours of pre-licensure education.
The full list of certified instruction locations is provided on Utah’s DOPL website.
Unlike some states, such as Rhode Island, Utah requires its licensed contractors to be backed by some level of experience. At least two years (or 4,000 hours) of paid construction experience is required before you can even consider applying for a general contractor’s license.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, though. If you meet any of the following criteria, it is considered the same as having the requisite experience:
- Hold a 2–4 year Construction Management Degree
- Currently licensed as a Utah Professional Engineer
- Have one year of licensed working experience in another state
- Prior record of a passing score on the NASCLA Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors
In addition to prior experience, all applications must also include passing scores on the Utah Business & Law Exam. Utah offers both in-person and online examination options. The 60 question exam is intended to cover basic construction practices and legal matters, all of which will be consistently utilized and referenced by a general contractor.
In order to pass, you’ll need to score 70% or higher; in other words, you need to correctly answer at least 42 questions. The topics you’ll need to focus on are:
- Business organization
- Estimating and bidding
- Contract and project management
- Labor, lien, and tax laws
- Financial management
- Risk management
Utah General Contractor Licensing Fees and Overview
In addition to the cost of the requisite pre-licensure course and evidence of insurance, a general contractor application will cost at least $225. The fees break down as follows:
- $225 application fee (includes one qualifier and classification)
- $175 fee for each additional classification or qualifier
- $50 fee for any changes or new qualifiers
- Either a $20 fee for an owner of less than 8% of a business or a $70 business registration fee
Average Utah General Contractor Salary and Benefits
As with any job, the salary and benefits for the position of a general contractor will depend on your own motivation, your work ethic, and your situation. Business owners may make more than contractors working for another company, though this will depend on your own management skills and demand.
On average, a general contractor in Utah can expect to receive anywhere from $45,000–$120,000 annually.
The Path to Become a General Contractor in Utah
Does all of this information sound exciting? If so, then it might be time to consider changing your career trajectory! Start laying out a plan to obtain your Utah state contracting license by following these steps.
1. Complete Education & Training
If you are renewing a license or meet any of the previously mentioned requirements to skip this step, then you can go straight to the next phase!
Your first course of action is to study. Make sure you understand the material that will be on the exams and prepare for your mandatory 25–30 hour course.
2. Complete Exam
If you have previously passed the exam or are renewing a license, this step can be skipped.
As has been mentioned, the exam for Utah’s license may be taken at home or in person. However, it’s worth noting that you can’t just take the exam repeatedly!
Should you fail, you must wait at least 30 days to retake this test. Upon the third consecutive failure, you must wait at least 160 days to retake the exam.
3. Obtain Necessary Insurance & Documentation
Once you have completed the required educational material, it’s time to gather your paperwork. Depending on how many qualifiers and certifications you wish to receive, this may take a while.
If you have additional employees, the application packet may start to get a bit weighty, as you’ll need to provide proof of insurance and worker’s compensation for each.
For yourself, you’ll be required to provide a certificate of insurance. This must have a total incident coverage amount of at least $300,000; each incident should have $100,000 in coverage. This proof must be provided regardless of whether or not you have additional employees.
4. Submit Application
Once everything is in order, it’s time to submit your packet. Utah does not offer an electronic submission option. Instead, you must mail your application to:
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
P.O. Box 146741
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741
Alternatively, you may hand-deliver the packet in person. If you choose to go this route, you will, of course, need to visit Salt Lake City.
While you’re there, enjoy the sights and sounds of the historic town, but don’t have so much fun that you forget to drop off your materials! You can make the in-person visit to:
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
Heber M Wells Building, 1st Floor Lobby
160 E 300 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Regardless of your approach, be prepared to wait! Normal processing time may take over a week, and this speed can be impacted by factors such as excessive application volume and errors in your application.
To speed up the process, be sure to double- and then triple-check your application; a perfectly filled-out application will be processed faster.
Need Help with Your Project?
If you’re a general contractor in Utah or another state in the U.S., we can help you with upcoming projects and bids you may have. Our experience has spanned the nation and crossed many industry lines.
From stainless steel cabinets and chemical epoxy tops and to custom workbenches and lab tables, our range is limitless. Give us a call at (866) 222-7494 to speak with a project consultant or fill out our online contact form today.