The state of Maine is the northernmost state in the U.S., located along the border of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada, and on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Scenic views, incredible seafood, and tight-knit communities make Maine a desirable place to live.
With relatively low housing prices and plenty of nature to enjoy, Maine is one of the East Coast’s most desirable locations. For construction professionals, working in Maine poses a unique challenge, with rocky terrain, sea salt air, and other environmental factors to contend with.
For those contractors that learn to work in the unique conditions of Maine, there’s a successful career to be made.
Unlike most states in the U.S., Maine does not require its contractors to obtain a license. Contractors looking to oversee or work on projects over $3,000 must have a business license, but there are no other qualifications or pre-requisite requirements.
Subcontractors who specialize in a specific field (i.e. architecture, electrical engineering, plumbing) may be required to become licensed, but this will depend on your local municipality.
Although Maine is not like other states when it comes to a general contractor’s license, OnePointe Solutions can still help to design, build, and install high-quality laboratory furniture, custom workbenches, and commercial cabinets for a variety of industrial, commercial, laboratory, and scientific facilities.
Job Description: General Contractor
Interested in becoming a general contractor? In addition to being knowledgeable in various areas of construction, general contractors must also be able to communicate with a variety of individuals including clients, municipal public employees, and subcontractors.
As a general contractor, you are responsible for overseeing the entire construction process from beginning to end, which requires a high degree of organization, patience, and problem-solving abilities.
Being a general contractor means stepping between various roles to keep projects on track. A project typically begins with a bid that is competitive enough to earn the client’s business.
Construction estimators help general contractors determine all costs of construction, including materials, equipment, labor, permits, and more, by assessing the proposed building. Since the goal is to present a competitive bid without underestimating costs, general contractors must be familiar with every step of the construction process.
A general contractor can begin organizing the project once the client accepts the bid. This includes hiring subcontractors, obtaining permits, assessing the building site, and purchasing materials and equipment.
Additionally, general contractors oversee the construction process on-site to ensure that everything runs smoothly and according to plan, as well as to ensure that workers are safe on the job site.
Speaking of bids, let’s say for this guide a bid was created and accepted for a medical lab. For this kind of lab, we would supply the general contractor with a range of laboratory furniture including high-quality, USA-Made lab cabinets for storage and organization, durable lab workbenches to perform experiments and tasks, ergonomic laboratory seating, and appropriate laboratory countertops (i.e. epoxy resin, phenolic resin, stainless steel, etc.) that would aid in the productivity of the lab and not prohibit efficiency. We can even provide biosafety cabinets, fume hoods, and other accessories necessary to be your one-stop-shop for the entire project.
To summarize, general contractors are in charge of 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
To learn more about specific requirements for Georgia general contractors, keep reading, but first, let’s talk about those skills that can’t be taught. The skills of general contractors include work ethics, management, teamwork, and the ability to stay level-headed during stressful times. No matter where you work as a general contractor, having the following skills will help you in your career:
- 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 Maine
Maine has no formal requirements for its general contractors, so anyone that wants to pursue a career as a GC is free to do so. Though none of the steps listed below are formally regulated or overseen by the state of Maine, these qualifications are important for a successful career:
Education & Experience
Maine does not require its general contractors to have any formal education or experience. That said, it is always a good idea to gain experience before working in construction, since there’s a lot to learn and conditions can be dangerous when not approached correctly.
We recommend completing your high school education before entering the construction industry. Once you are ready to begin working in construction, try to take on as many jobs as possible to give yourself a well-rounded experience.
After a few years, you might feel confident enough to start taking on your own projects.
Although you do not need to have a formal construction license to be a general contractor, Maine does require all people doing business over $3,000 to hold a business license. Business licenses in Maine are managed at the city level, so you will need to contact your municipal website for exact information on this process.
If you live in Maine and are interested in starting a general contracting business, check out our guide below:
As a public employer and business owner, you will need to obtain general liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Proof of these will need to be presented at the time of your business licensing, but specifics will depend on the regulations of your local government.
Maine General Contractor Licensing Fee Overview
Because Maine has no formal general contractor license, there are no fees associated with becoming a GC. Depending on your municipality, you may pay a fee for your business license registration.
Average Maine General Contractor Salary & Benefits
Despite low housing prices, general contractors in Maine make more than the national median income for GCs, typically averaging around $78,000 annually. In addition to enjoying a decent salary, contractors in Maine get to work alongside the ocean and in a mild, non-abrasive climate.
The Path To Become a General Contractor In Maine
Now that you know what it takes to become a general contractor, here are the steps you’ll go through to start your career:
1. Complete Your Education
No, there are no education requirements for contractors in Maine, but we still suggest at least finishing your high school degree or GED.
2. Get Some Experience
The only way to learn the many things you’ll need to know as a general contractor is through experience. Take positions in different areas to learn all the ins and outs, and keep working until you feel confident you could oversee the whole process of a build.
3. Obtain a Business License
Once you want to begin working as a general contractor, check with your municipal government to find out what you need to obtain a business license. Once you are licensed and have purchased the right types of insurance or surety bonds (depending on your municipality), you can begin working on construction projects of any size.