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Be a Wood Flooring Contractor: Career Requirements and Information

Research the requirements to become a wood flooring contractor. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in wood flooring contracting.

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Do I Want to Be a Wood Flooring Contractor?

Wood flooring contractors work in the construction industry to install, finish and repair wood flooring. The work can be physically demanding, since contractors spend many hours stooping and kneeling. Wood flooring contractors work with sharp tools and objects, and they must take safety precautions to avoid injury.

Job Requirements

Licensing requirements vary for these types of contractors, but most professionals must complete an apprenticeship, along with on-the-job training. The following table contains the core requirements that employers listed in 2012 job postings for wood flooring contractors.

Common Requirements
Degree Level No degree required; may need to complete apprenticeship and on-the-job training
Licensure or Certification Licensing requirements vary by state and contracting position
Experience Experience often preferred, but not usually required
Key Skills Mastery of carpentry tools and equipment, good interpersonal skills, attention to detail
Computer Skills Basic spreadsheet skills may be required for record-keeping purposes
Technical Skills Familiarity with carpentry tools, as well as flooring repair and installation methods
Additional Requirements Physical strength, valid driver's license, ability to pass drug or background checks

Step 1: Learn the Trade

Wood flooring contractors can learn basic skills through high school carpentry classes. Courses in math and general woodworking can benefit potential wood floorers. Additional coursework can be taken at a vocational school through a general construction or carpentry program. It's typically not necessary to have more than a high school diploma or an associate's degree in order to find work in this field.

An invaluable way to learn the trade is through an apprenticeship program. These programs can supply valuable on-the-job training, while also providing contacts in the industry. Programs may last up to three years and are often offered by unions, trade associations or other professional associations. Apprenticeship programs usually require a combination of hours spent working in the field with an experienced contractor and hours spent in the classroom. Wood flooring courses can cover topics such as installation, wood finishing and blueprint reading.

Step 2: Research Licensing Options

Licensing requirements for wood flooring contractors vary by state. There are licensing opportunities available through state agencies and professional trade associations. Requirements for a construction contracting license might include filing as an individual proprietorship, passing a criminal background check, obtaining liability insurance, taking an exam and paying a licensing fee. To learn more about potential requirements, prospective wood flooring contractors should check with their state's labor department.

Success Tips:

  • Get involved with a professional trade association. These associations provide valuable contacts within the industry and help members stay abreast of relevant regulations, laws and other changes in the field. Two associations of interest for wood flooring contractors are the National Wood Flooring Association and the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association.
  • Learn how to get insured. Many clients and companies who may subcontract the services of a flooring contractor will not work with uninsured candidates. Workers can purchase general liability insurance with an insurance carrier. There are state boards for construction contractors that can provide workers with resources on affordable insurance plans.
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