A man with a shovel is working on a road.

How to Become a Professional Paving Contractor

Given the current economic conditions in the US, it should come as no surprise that many people are interested in finding a career that offers a high level of job security in the future. Being a professional paving contractor does just that! While other industries might be subject to layoffs and work shortages when times are tough, paving businesses typically do well no matter what. That makes sense considering the fact that paving professionals are responsible for the building and maintenance of our roadways, parking lots and other paved surfaces. And the world (quite literally) runs on pavement! We’ve compiled the following information for our readers who might be considering a career as a paving contractor.

Job Description

A paving contractor is usually in charge of a crew of people who work on building, maintaining and repairing a variety of paved surfaces – such as roads, highways and parking lots, for example. The contractor is typically responsible for supervising the work of others, ensuring that the project is completed according to job specifications and that the quality of the materials and construction is at the highest level possible. Paving contractors are also responsible for ensuring job site safety, as well as submitting bids to obtain new jobs.


Most professional paving contractors will need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field. Alternatively, some people advance to the level of paving contractor with experience that is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree and/or a combination of education and experience. Another common way to advance in this field is by obtaining an associate’s degree through an apprenticeship program.


Some people prefer to advance in the paving industry through experience rather than education. For those who choose this path, some type of formal apprenticeship program is often the best path to follow. This involves starting off as a laborer and working your way up. Many technical schools and unions offer apprenticeship programs, most of which take between 3 and 4 years to complete and involve training in both in the classroom and on job sites. If you choose to join a program offered through a technical school, you may be able to obtain an associate’s degree.


Although some of the details vary depending on where the paving contractor is working, all states require that independent contractors be licensed. Getting a license usually requires proving that you have the experience and/or the educational background as described above, and that your paving business is solvent. To find out more about educational opportunities, contact a local university of technical school. If you’d prefer to work your way up through the ranks, contact a reputable local paving contractor and ask about opportunities to join their team as a laborer. Most paving contractors would agree that this industry is both challenging and rewarding!
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