6 Contracting and Continuing Competency Tips From the Godfather of Builder’s Licensing, Sid Woryn
In case you may have missed it, our very own lead instructor, and what we like to refer to as “The Godfather” of the building and licensing industry, Sid Woryn, recently sat down with podcaster and former contractor, Tom Bartholomew on the Michigan Contractor Show.
In this episode, Sid Woryn touches on 32 minutes of industry insight and information that is nothing short of pure gold.
Throughout this post, I’m going to go over the top 6 key takeaways from the episode with Tom and Sid, but if you’d like to listen to the episode in full, you can view it here or below.
Why Should I Care About Getting My Michigan Builders License?
To start, if you have found your way to this website, you probably have some interest in either obtaining your Michigan Builders License through a pre-licensing course, or you already have it and you’re looking for an easy way to renew or extend your current license.
Both are an important part of building a strong foundation in a career of construction, contracting, or inspection. As Sid mentions in the episode, even first-time home flippers are wanting to get their Michigan Builders License...
So, no matter what side of the spectrum you fall on, these are the courses you are going to need and continuing education is all part of the process.
Without a builder's license, you are not legally allowed to perform any work over $600 in labor for homeowners. So you may be able to do small odd jobs here and there but to really crank out some business, you’re going to need a license.
How Do I Get My Michigan Builders License and Keep It?
In order to obtain a builders license in Michigan, an individual needs to complete the 60-Hour Pre Licensing course and pass the test.
If you pass the test, you are granted your Builders License and you will need to renew your license after 3 years of use as well as complete another 21 hours of continuing competency in various related fields.
Once you complete this, you are able to obtain your second license.
From there, you will need to renew your license yet again, through another 21 hours of continuing competency courses.
Finally, upon having your license for 6 years, you will need to renew your license through a 3-hour continuing competency course each renewal cycle, which is three years long.
The Godfather of Michigan Builders Licensing
Now that you know you want to get licensed or keep your license, who the heck is this Sid Woryn guy?
Sid has been teaching the builders licensing and continuing competency since 1982!
He has dabbled in several different areas of the industry as he has worked in anything and everything from construction, to inspection, to even representing homeowners in court as an expert construction witness.
You can tell he really enjoys teaching the hardworking men and women who step foot in his classroom because he is passionate about helping them pursue their goals and dreams of becoming a licensed building professional.
Throughout his 39 years of teaching, Sid has collected an encyclopedia of Do’s and Don’ts so you don't have to think twice about it when you are out in the field.
You are truly learning from the best of the best and he knows the ins and outs of the industry like the back of his hand!
So, What Are The 6 Key Takeaways For Michigan Builders Licensing?
Other than the importance of getting and staying licensed Sid talks about some of the most helpful tips and tricks he has learned in his years of not only teaching but also working in the field of construction and contracting.
We have finally arrived at the meat and potatoes…
The first key takeaway from Sid Woryn is...
1. Network and form long-term relationships through your licensing courses.
In the classes you take, whether it be with him or someone else, Sid encourages all listeners to be outgoing enough in their class to make some friends. This will not only make the class more fun, but you will also be gain allies and networking opportunities. In the building industry oftentimes, builders specialize in one area. For this example, let's say you specialize in exterior builds. It would make sense for you to form relationships with someone who specializes in kitchens or other interior builds. You can form a strong bond between others who share similar interests with which you can scale your business with.
2. There are class schedules to accommodate anyone.
Just like any other industry, you need to do the work in order to be successful. Hard work is rewarding but it is often daunting. What if you fail? What if it’s too hard...
Sid urges to not let the pressures of failure hold you back from diving in. With MBL courses, Sid offers both online and live classes to accommodate any schedule with evening as well as daytime courses. His course schedule for the 60 Hour Pre Licensing course is as follows:
- Evening Class: Monday-Friday, 5-10 pm
- Day Class: Monday- Thursday, 8 am-3:30 pm
The MBL team has live classroom settings in 3 different physical locations: Livonia, Troy, and Grand Rapids. You can find exact locations and schedule classes here.
3. Don’t be afraid to take the class!
Sid also touches on the very important aspect that many students’ first language is not English, yet the test and many classes are only taught in English. However, students should not let this deter them from pursuing a license. Many times, a student is granted a second able body to translate test questions to them, and in turn, the student can answer to the best of his or her ability. Additionally, the ADA requires instructors to accommodate learning disabilities, such as ADD and ADHD.
4. Take your courses with someone who cares.
Throughout his time in the industry, Sid has heard story after story of students failing due to the lack of interest their instructors have in them. Simply put, some instructors aren’t there to see you succeed- they’re simply there to collect a paycheck. The key, here, is to take the class with someone who actually cares about you and your success; someone who makes it their goal to help you pass.
Sid not only cares and is willing to stay late and come in on weekends to help you grasp the course material but he plainly states in his Tom Bartholomew podcast episode,
“My goal is to help them pass the dag gone test!!”
And that is all we really want in any teacher, am I right? Someone who cares enough to see us succeed.
5. Stockpile Your Building Supplies
Sid doesn’t just talk about how to maximize your return on investment while IN the course, but he also gives great advice to those already out in the field. When asked what his ONE, actionable tip contractors can take right now, Sid confidently replies that as a contractor you should be bracing yourself for fluctuations in supply and demand and to stockpile your supplies while they are available and BEFORE you need them. You never know when there will be a shortage with high demand for materials, and the last thing you want to do is have to tell someone you can’t complete the job because of a lack of materials.
6. Protect yourself from ambiguous contractual verbiage.
When writing out contracts with clients, be sure to get paid for the work you have done. When it comes to payout, avoid saying that you will be paid “upon completion” of the job. “Upon completion” leaves a grey area for clients to continuously say that there still is work to be done on a specific project, long after the project is finished. It leaves room for speculation and does not specify who is at liberty to deem the job as complete. Instead, say that the last payment is “due upon final inspection” or name a date when you believe the project will be done. This will protect you from having your pay withheld at the client’s discretion.
Obtaining your Michigan Builders License and keeping it is no easy task- in fact, it can be a very intense course…
But taking Sid’s advice and sticking to it throughout your career will not only help ease the process, but it will also help you scale your profits down the road.
If you’re interested in taking your Continuing Competency or Pre-Licensing courses with Sid Woryn or the rest of the Michigan Builders License team, head over here and find the course and schedule that best fits your needs and your wallet!