Why are independent contractors so vital to the construction industry?

The construction industry is one of the busiest in the world and that is certainly true within the USA. Indeed, the US construction industry is thought to be worth over $1 billion in annual expenditure. With the sector employing over 10 million workers and US construction firms spending more than $10 trillion annually on goods, it is clear how important this sector is to the whole economy.

Of course, the construction industry itself is only able to play this important role due to the many contractors it uses. Past figures from the US Bureau of Labour showed independent contractors make up 6.9% of total employment across the country and construction certainly sees its fair share.

Why do contractors play such a major role within construction?

With the number of contractors active in construction, it is obvious how important they are in facilitating its smooth operation and in getting projects completed on-time. But just why have contractors become so powerful?

It is because of the flexible access to specialist skills that they offer. A construction company may have won a project to build a housing development but lack the skills required to complete key elements, such as installing next-gen acoustic solutions or specialist drainage work. Rather than missing out on the project or doing a poor job, construction companies use independent contractors to do the work.

Of course, independent contractors also help companies to save money. By allowing them to only hire the particular skills they need for a set time, a lot of money is saved on employing permanent staff who may only be needed a few times each year. This combination is what gives contractors a lot of power within the whole industry. After all, without them, a lot of projects would not be able to be completed and a lot of construction companies would not be able to stay operational.

Tips for independent construction contractors

If you are a contractor in this sector, then it is always wise to get a few tips on how to become even more successful. A great idea is to use an umbrella company. They effectively act as your employer rather than the actual client that has contracted your services.

Why is this a good move? In short, it sees the umbrella company handle your payroll, sort out any tax deductions each month and produce a payslip. They will also submit timesheets for you, handle any admin queries concerning payments and generally make this side of your business less hassle. For more details on umbrella companies, Crystal Umbrella information about umbrella companies is worth looking at.

Network, network, network

Another great tip for any construction contractor is to always be networking. While this can sometimes seem hard to do when busy with projects, even chatting with other companies on-site can lead to new opportunities. If you do get time, networking online via sites like LinkedIn is also a good way to forge new partnerships in the construction sector.

Keep gaining new skills and equipment

As you will be aware, construction is an ever-changing industry with new skills required constantly. A great tip to have more success as a contractor is to always be learning new skills so you and your team can offer more to potential clients. As well as this, it is also worth keeping your equipment up to date, so you are not left behind by competitors when tendering for jobs.

Keep an eye on the law

As well as new skills being in demand all the time, the US Government is prone to making law changes to building regulations at times. To make sure you are fully compliant on any job you take, ensure you are always working in accordance with the latest legal advice. If you do not then you may be kicked off a job or even be sued if you build something wrongly which then causes an accident. Umbrella companies can help partly here as they will always be working to the latest laws around your tax requirements. This means you do not have to worry about keeping up with those! For the rest though, you must make sure you pick up on any current regs to comply with.

Contractors hold the power

To get an idea of how much power contractors hold within the construction industry, you only have to imagine there not being any. It would leave a huge skills gap in the industry and have a big impact on the ability big construction firms have to operate. This leaves working as an independent contractor in construction as a great career choice and one that will always be in demand.


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BDC 311 : Dec 2023