How Much Does Becoming a General Contractor Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ $ Certificate in Construction Technology: $1,800-$9,000 $ $ $ Associate's Degree in Construction Technology: $1,200-$18,000

The job of the general contractor is to complete a construction technology classroom program or to receive on-the-job training through a formal apprenticeship or work experience.

The trade schools and the technical colleges offer one- or two-year certificate programs and associate’s degrees in construction, while apprenticeships come from industry groups and last 3-5 years.

The Education Portal reports that although there is no required educational program for general contractors, those that wish to work in supervisory or construction management roles should consider attaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and the related work experience.

Typical Costs

A certificate program in construction technology costs $1,800-$9,000.

For example, Casper College in Casper, WY, provides a nine-month Construction Technology certificate program for $1,848 for residents and $5,112 for non-residents.

At the same time, Franklin Tech Joplin in Joplin, MO, secures a 950-hour certificate in construction technology for $8,845.

For instance, an associate’s degree in construction technology costs $1,200-$18,000, while an associate’s degree from El Camino College in Torrance, CA, costs $1,224 for state residents or $8,058 for non-residents.

At the same time, Texas State Technical College has an associate’s degree in building construction technology for $7,788 for state residents and $17,886 for non-residents over the five-semester program.

The apprenticeship in construction costs $0-$1,000.

For example, the Local 199 Labor Union in Wilmington, DE, provides an apprenticeship program for $300, while IBEW-NECA Technical Institute in Chicago offers apprenticeships for $1,000, which includes an administration fee and the cost of hand tools.

The apprentices may further earn a partial wage while working under the supervision of a general contractor.

The state licensing for general contractors has a price between $50-$300.

For instance, Florida issues licenses from $250 for two years, with an optional online exam review for $150.

The unlimited license from North Carolina cost $100 plus $15 for a license packet, while Georgia license costs $200 plus a $106 exam fee.

What Is Included

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the apprenticeships in construction last for 3-5 years and include at least 144 hours of classes, as well as on-the-job training.
  • The certificate and associate’s degree programs cover basic subjects such as mathematics, mechanical drawing, and woodworking, plus all basic skills necessary to begin a career in construction.
  • According to Education Portal, the bachelor’s degree should cover site planning and project development,  design, cost estimating and accounting, construction methods, and materials.

Additional Costs

The additional costs for carpentry students vary between $500-$15,000.

The Imperial Valley College in Imperial, CA, for example, estimates that building construction students will pay $1,656 for books and supplies for the certificate program.

At the same time, the University of New Mexico in Taos, N.M., calculate the accommodation, board, transportation and miscellaneous costs for the certificate program to reach $9,000-$15,000 annually.


Scholarships are offered to qualified students, who are attending a construction training program.

The Construction Industry Advancement Program of New Jersey provides scholarships of $2,500-$5,000, while the South East Iowa Builder’s Association presents several $1,000 scholarships per year.

The Associated General Contractors of America issue up to 100 scholarships per year for $7,500.

Shopping For Becoming A General Contractor

The National Contractors offer a searchable database of general contractor licensing requirements by state.

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