Become a General Contractor After High School With Online Courses

High school moves so quickly, doesn’t it? Blink and you miss it.

Once you graduate, things start to get serious – quickly. What are you planning to do with your career? Many recent high school graduates in California who are happy to see the schoolhouse in the rearview mirror move into industries that don’t require more schooling – starting careers in the trades or even as a general contractor.

While we’ve written extensively about this topic in a recent post, if you’re making plans to become a general contractor after high school, it’s critical to educate yourself about your future career. Lucky for you – there are helpful online courses available 24/7 for this very purpose.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the quickest and easiest ways to become a general contractor via online classes.

Reasons to Enroll in Online Courses for General Contractors After High School

Promising Career Choice

  • Becoming a general contractor is a promising career choice as the demand for skilled, licensed contractors seems to just grow and grow, especially in California.
  • You might want to kickstart your career in construction without a traditional college degree. If that’s you, check out our post on Can You Start a Construction Career Out of High School? for more on this topic.

Learn at Your Own Pace

  • Whether your schedule is super predictable or wildly unconventional, online courses allow you to set your own pace and schedule study time when you want.
  • There’s also something great about home study — or studying anywhere you like! Whatever learning environment is best for you, you can set yourself up in that space to complete your online coursework.

Diversify Your Qualifications

  • You have access to many online courses that cover the different kinds of training required when applying for different contractor licenses.
  • Completing certain coursework and special training helps you diversify your skills, which opens you up to more categories of construction work and a competitive income.

9 Steps To Using Online Courses To Become A Contractor

1. Plan Your Journey

Before you enroll in any courses for becoming a general contractor, what are your goals in construction? Do you only want to be a Class B General Contractor? Or do you want to expand your offerings (and make more money) by picking up additional licenses? Do you want to also be a B-2 Residential Remodeling Contractor? Or a C-8 licensed contractor so you can pour concrete? A C-21 license so you can do demolition?

2. Search for Accredited Online Courses

Once you know which license or licenses you want, search for the right programs. Choose an online school that covers the essentials, such as construction management, project planning, safety regulations, and legal requirements. Check with the Contractors State License Board to make sure you’re meeting their requirements.

3. Create a Study Schedule

As we mentioned before, online courses offer some extra flexibility. But it’s important to create some structure for yourself and hold yourself accountable. Create a consistent, realistic study schedule so you stay on track.

4. Get Some Hands-on Experience

Per the CSLB, you’ll need four years of experience total — three of which can be technical training, apprenticeship training, or education. At least one year needs to be practical experience, maybe in an internship or an entry-level job where you can apply what you’ve learned from your online courses. This is the hardest part of the journey.

5. Stay in Touch with Industry Trends and Your Network

Construction is an ever-evolving industry, so you’ll have to keep up with new trends and new tech. Keep yourself up on industry news by joining construction associations, following blogs like ours, and staying in contact with people you meet on the job.

6. Prepare for Licensing

Your online courses should cover basic knowledge about how to prepare for licensing exams. You can also familiarize yourself with exam prep and application requirements for each classification of contractor license on the CSLB website.

7. Build a Portfolio and Keep Networking

As you gain experience and complete your online courses, put together a portfolio of your work. If you display your achievements alongside professional photos of your work you’ll make it easier on yourself when you want to share your accomplishments with potential employers, clients, and your greater network of contractors.

8. Continuing Education

Beyond your initial online coursework, you’ll still need continuing education as your career continues to build. You can find continuing education courses online when it’s time to renew your general contractor license. Also, as you develop new specialized skills, you can check out advanced courses or certifications that cover those too.

9. Keep Building Your Career

With online courses available to you 24/7 and an online social network full of contractors just like you growing every day, the possibilities for your career are practically endless. Whether you want to work for a construction company or start your own, online courses can help you accumulate whatever knowledge and skills you need when you need them!

The Quicker You Learn, The Quicker You’ll Get To Work

You can become a contractor after high school relying heavily on online courses.

You will still need to get a certain number of hours of practical experience on the job, but online courses will help you build a sturdy foundation for your construction knowledge. Online learning gives you more options and it can really free up your time when balancing all the incredible demands of modern life.

If you want to become a general contractor after high school, you can definitely make it happen with the right amount of focus, determination, and commitment to meeting the requirements as laid out by the CSLB.

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.