To become a general contractor, the minimum required education is usually a high school diploma. It also requires some specialty training, on-the-job experience and passing the state licensing exam.
General contractors need good oral and written communication skills in addition to the basic education and training requirements. Every state has its own licensing exam and individual requirements to become a licensed general contractor. Some people choose to get a college degree specializing in contracting, though it isn’t always a requirement.
Some other basic requirements states might have to be a licensed contractor include being 18 years or older, having employment authorization to work in the United States and having a good work record without unexplained job-related incidents. States such as California also require the individual to get his fingerprints done before issuing the contractor's license. An application is filled out prior to taking the exam, as not everyone qualifies to take it.
Some states also have other requirements for general contractors who want to run their own business, such as having a business license, a federal tax ID number, showing proof of a business address or already having liability insurance. County and city governments may also impose regulations regarding business permits.