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Careers in Civil Engineering: Builder and Contractor

written by: Haresh Khemani • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 9/6/2009

If you have good civil engineering skills and entrepreneurial or business inclination, becoming an independent builder or contractor can be highly exciting and fruitful option for you. It requires lots of passion, motivation, determination and zeal to become a successful builder and contractor.

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    Career as Builder and Contractor

    If you have good civil engineering skills and entrepreneurial inclination, becoming an independent builder or contractor can be highly exciting and fruitful option for you. There are many people who search for the jobs, but the entrepreneurs are the ones who with their extraordinary initiatives, great business skills, with some risks and lots of courage and confidence dare to start the organization that brings employment to a few or many people. It requires lots of passion, motivation, determination and zeal to become a successful builder and contractor.

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    What do the Builders do?

    There are great chances that the flat or the house you are living in or the office you are working in has been purchased from the builder. The builder is also called as the property developer. The builder converts the barren lands and jungles into the high flying buildings. The builders are great visionaries and know the property markets very well.

    Builders purchase the lands when the prices are at rock bottom in the market. They develop this land by constructing tall buildings for residential purposes such as the flats or independent bungalows. They may also develop shopping complex for commercial businesses or the offices. They sell these developed properties at much higher prices since they add lots of value to the undeveloped land. The profits earned from such business are at times highly exorbitant, but depend a lot on the market conditions. If there is potential for selling the developed properties at higher rates, the builders can pay even very high prices for purchasing the land.

    You can be small builder building small properties in your nearby locality, sometimes even extending to the whole city and around it. With your lots of hard work and determination you can even establish large property developing or building company. Most of the popular and well known building companies have been started by the sheer hard work and determination of a single person.

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    What do the Contractors do?

    The contractor takes various types of construction related contracts like construction of the brick works, RCC structures, floor works, plumbing works, painting works etc. A number of construction related activities are carried out in many private companies and government organizations. They don’t have their in-house construction team and can’t really afford to employ such team since they don't have regular construction works. Such organizations raise the tenders for various constructions related activities and the bidder with the lowest amount is awarded the project.

    There are two types of contractors: private contractors and government contractors. The private contractors usually bid only for the private company contracts like construction of certain buildings in their premises, construction of various plants, painting the building, carrying out plumbing works etc. Many builders also outsource some parts of their projects to the private contractors so that the works can be done at lower rates without employing the expensive expert manpower in that field. The government contractors usually bid for the government contracts like construction of the government or federal building, painting of the building, construction of the roads and bridges, construction of dams, airports etc.

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    Qualifications and Qualities required to become a Builder and Contractor

    Whether you are a builder or contractor the most important thing is that you should have business or entrepreneurial skills. You should be ready to work very hard and determined to be successful by employing fair means only.

    A good degree or diploma in civil engineering is very useful and long experience in construction is very essential. If your family is already into construction business, getting involved into it and expanding it is a better idea.

    A strong financial background is very important to be into construction business whether as a builder or as a contractor more so if you are a property developer. In case of the builder, you have to make lots of investments in the land and construction. It takes a long time for the builder to develop the property and then start earning since the property may not sell immediately, so you must have sufficient buffer to take care of your business. Even the contractor has to invest lots of money in the project and it takes time to recover the money from the private and government organizations. If you have the qualifications, experience, business skills, money and zeal to do construction business, this is the job for you.



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