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Freelance Construction: Is it Better Than Direct Employment?

If you are a young guy who loves working with your hands and have your heart set on mastering a trade in construction, this article was written with you in mind. Of course, the first thing to do is learn the trade, whether carpentry, plastering, roofing or first fixing and the best way to do that is work for a builder as an apprentice.

A contract with your employer

An apprentice agrees that, in return for the on-site instruction and the college courses, he or she will work for the company for a minimum period, which might be 3-5 years. No employer is going to invest in training you if you are going to leave as soon as you are certified, so bear that in mind. This is the best way to learn your trade and when the time comes and you have a few years under your belt, there’s nothing to stop you going freelance.

Employee benefits

The downside of going freelance is you have zero benefits; no sick pay, or paid holidays, plus you have to take out tailored construction insurance if you are self-employed. Working for a company does bring you security and for many people, that is the most important thing of all, especially during these troubled times we are facing. Many people have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic and if you were made redundant recently, focus your energy on freelance work. Make connections with contractors and as long as you are certified and mobile, you should find enough work.

Working for yourself

If you are young and single, freelancing is probably a more attractive proposition; you can claim a lot of tax-deductibles and your earning ceiling is a lot higher and if you consistently turn out good work, you won’t have problems finding contracts. The construction industry is much like any other, in as much as reliability and high standards go and if you have a great work ethic, you will go far. You must keep all receipts and hand them to your bookkeeper to record, while all income needs to be logged and invoices filed. The accountant will tell you exactly what you can claim and what you cannot; generally, the self-employed tradesman pays less tax than a directly employed person, especially with a good accountant. Click here for information about how technology can improve the workplace.

Filing tax returns

Of course, you have to pay tax and a local accountant can handle your tax returns on your behalf; the money the professional saves you will cover the cost. One thing you don’t want is trouble with the IRS and the best way to ensure your tax is paid on time is to hire a local accountant, which you should do at the very outset.

There is definitely more money to be made working for yourself and with some planning and self-discipline, you can take the first steps to becoming a contractor. Most contractors worked freelance for 10-15 years, which is a natural progression for those with ambition, and the experience prepares you for the role of contractor.

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