How to become project manager?

9 Replies

I want to start flipping as well as be able to do my own contracting work. How does one begin to learn about being a project manager/contractor without needing a license? Is there a way to be involved in a project and getting experience/knowledge before giving it a shot on my own?

To be a contractor, you need to be licensed. If you have your own fix and flip projects, you may do so as owner/Builder, act as your own GC (only if you own the property) and hire out licensed sub contractors.

To learn the ropes before you go about it on your own, I would recommend getting an internship or paid job with a construction co and learn how to be a project manager, costs associated with rehabs, and any other knowledge you may receive from that experience.

@Clara Brashear ,

Hi Clara,

I assume you mean how to be your own General Contractor hiring/managing/paying subs on your own work site and not swinging a hammer yourself.

Going to work for some one else in this field would probably take several years to figure out all that needs to be done.

For instance, material and labor lien releases, payment schedules that CYA, interim and final work inspections, etc...

You will also need to know how to specify what a trade must do in writing to avoid under-work and over-regulating them.

Tradesmen can be rough talking and rough personalities at times, and you also need to be able to stand up that and push through and get the job done.

This is something you can probably do, and you may be able to learn the basic outline of it online from various sources before jumping into it yourself. Then once you learn that, you could kind of consider yourself as having training wheels for the real world of doing it.

And as others have said, if you intend to do this for others you will need to be licensed.

Also Bigger Pockets has a book about Rehab called The Book On Estimating Rehab Costs that you might enjoy.

Good Luck!

Originally posted by @Kris L. :

@Will Barnard

That will depend on the state, right? Texas doesn’t require a GC license, though some cities might.

I don’t know all 50 state’s laws on contracting so I can only speak from a CA standpoint but I find it hard to believe that any state would allow just anyone to take money from a consumer to perform the general construction tasks and have zero oversight or regulations as so much can go wrong. It’s not as simply as one selling ice cream to the public.

 

@Will Barnard

Crazy but true. Electricians and plumbers are licensed at the state level, but Texas general contractors are only licensed at the local level.

Originally posted by @Will Barnard :
Originally posted by @Kris L.:

@Will Barnard

That will depend on the state, right? Texas doesn’t require a GC license, though some cities might.

I don’t know all 50 state’s laws on contracting so I can only speak from a CA standpoint but I find it hard to believe that any state would allow just anyone to take money from a consumer to perform the general construction tasks and have zero oversight or regulations as so much can go wrong. It’s not as simply as one selling ice cream to the public.

 

Welcome to Texas. They did have a pseudo license for about ten years but it didn't take. There is still recourse for the client but it's after the fact. 

 

Originally posted by @Kris L. :

@Will Barnard

Crazy but true. Electricians and plumbers are licensed at the state level, but Texas general contractors are only licensed at the local level.

Hold that thought Kris. Plumbers were almost taken off license this month. They have 4 years to get it together or they will be no more plumbing license in Texas. 

 

Washington doesn't seem to require any specific certification for a GC. You do have to register which will require you have proper insurances but they don't require you take a test like most states.

Places I have lived will allow the owner to act as GC for property they own without licenses.

You should understand the building process, general business stuff like accounting and insurance, contract law enough to know when to see a lawyer, employment law and general project management even if that is in another industry. If you don't already have a bunch of this then you should find a job in construction management to learn it all at once. If you have everything but the building part you could probably learn that by trading your labor to someone who is experienced.