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October 23, 2023

Contractor Associations: Essential Guide for Professionals


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Contractor associations play a pivotal role in the construction industry, offering crucial support and resources to professionals in various aspects of the field. These organizations serve as a bridge between contractors, management, educational institutions, and industry leaders, fostering communication, collaboration, and continued growth.

In this article, we’ll explore the value of contractor associations and their impact on industry practices, management strategies, and education initiatives.

What Are Professional Construction Organizations?

Professional construction organizations are associations that bring together entrepreneurs in the construction sector to promote industry standards, share resources, and provide networking opportunities. They typically cater to a wide range of members, including general contractors, specialty-contracting firms, and service providers within the construction industry. By offering support in the form of educational materials, certifications, technical assistance, and industry advocacy, these associations strive to improve construction quality and protect public interest.

One of the leading construction organizations is the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Representing more than 27,000 firms, the AGC aims to provide advocacy, education, and research services geared toward the needs and concerns of its members. This organization encompasses over 6,500 general contractors and 9,000 specialty-contracting firms, as well as more than 10,500 service providers and suppliers associated with the construction sector.

Another prominent organization is the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national construction industry trade association representing more than 22,000 members. The ABC is focused on promoting the merit shop philosophy by helping its members develop professional skills, secure work, and deliver projects safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work.

Construction professional organizations serve several vital functions, including:

  • Industry Advocacy: These associations lobby for policies and regulations that foster a favorable business climate for their members and address critical construction issues.

  • Education and Training: Most associations provide educational resources, workshops, and certification programs to help members stay up to date on industry advancements and trends.

  • Networking Events: Construction organizations host conferences, meetings, and other gatherings that encourage collaboration, idea exchange, and professional relationships within the industry.

  • Research and Innovation: Associations often fund, conduct, and disseminate research that promotes new technologies, best practices, and sustainability measures in construction.

By participating in these associations, construction professionals can leverage valuable resources and connections that support the growth of their careers, businesses, and the industry as a whole.

Related Content: How To Start a Construction Company: A Comprehensive Guide

Why You Should Join a General Contractor Association


Joining a general contractor association provides ample networking opportunities for your business. You can connect with like-minded professionals, build relationships, and share new perspectives with others in the community. Associations often hold events and conferences where members can establish contacts and explore potential partnerships.

Advance Your Career

Association members enjoy many leadership and employment opportunities. By joining, you position yourself to grow your career and increase your visibility within the industry. 

Related Content: 10 Types of Construction Jobs (with Responsibilities & Salaries)

Expand Your Knowledge

Another key benefit is access to a wealth of education and training resources. This includes courses, seminars, workshops, certifications, and other educational materials that enable you to upskill and stay competitive in the construction industry. Many associations also conduct research and studies that contribute to the knowledge base of their members.




Safety Training


Industry Insights


Project Management


Project Estimation

Educational Materials

Construction Best Practices

Stay on Top of Industry News And Trends

Organizations often provide newsletters, market analyses, regulation updates, and other current information relevant to the construction industry. Staying informed of these developments helps your business adapt to market changes and maintain a strong competitive position.

Associations Worth Joining in 2023: Top 7 Contractor Organizations for Your Business

1. Accessibility Professionals Association (APA)

The APA is an excellent organization for professionals who design, build, or manage accessible environments. Membership enables industry leaders to stay informed of accessibility codes and guidelines and network with other specialty trade contractors who prioritize accessibility in building projects.

2. American Welding Society (AWS)

The AWS is the leading association for professionals in the welding, cutting, and related industries. Members benefit from a wealth of information on welding standards, certification programs, and educational resources, making the AWS invaluable for contractors and construction professionals who deal in welding and similar trades.

3. American Concrete Institute (ACI)

The ACI plays a significant role in the concrete industry by developing and promoting standards, training, seminars, and certifications. It keeps professionals up to date on the latest developments and best practices in the field of concrete and cementitious materials.

4. Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA)

The CFMA organizes the annual Construction Financial Management Conference, which opens valuable networking and learning opportunities. This association focuses on finance-related issues in the construction industry, from managing cash flow to understanding tax implications, making it an excellent resource for those in construction finance departments.

5. Construction Management Association of America (CMAA)

The CMAA is a key organization for construction managers, project managers, and other professionals engaged in construction project oversight. Membership includes access to resources like textbooks, seminars, and contract documents, as well as industry-specific job postings and a directory of certified construction managers.

6. Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA)

The GCBAA is a prominent association for professionals in the construction of golf courses. By joining, individuals and companies are invited into a network of industry leaders experienced in the design, construction, and maintenance of golf courses, providing connections and insights for those in this niche market.

7. Modular Building Institute (MBI)

The MBI is focused on the advancement of modular construction technology and practices. Members include manufacturers, suppliers, architects, engineers, and others involved in modular building construction. As part of the MBI, professionals can learn the latest trends and innovations in this fast-growing field.

By joining one or more of these top construction associations, professionals can enjoy rich resources, connect with other professionals, and stay on top of emerging trends and best practices. Explore these organizations further to find the best fit for your business.

What To Consider When Choosing Contractor Groups and Associations

Prior to joining a contractor group or association, consider various factors that’ll influence your professional growth and business success. We’ve broken down the important aspects to consider when choosing the right organization for you:

  • Resources and Tools: A contractor association should provide its members with resources and tools that can improve their businesses. That may include industry-specific software, templates for contracts or project management, or educational materials on relevant topics. Be sure to evaluate the quality and relevance of these resources to your specific needs.

  • Manufacturers and Equipment: Associations that have strong relationships with reputable manufacturers and equipment providers can offer their members information on new products and technologies. This could lead to competitive advantages in the market, as well as opportunities for discounts on purchases or rentals of essential equipment.

  • Advocacy: A crucial role of contractor groups and associations is to advocate for their members on industry-related issues, such as regulation, labor laws, or construction standards. Find out how active the organization is in representing your interests and addressing the challenges that affect your business.

  • Discounts and Marketing Opportunities: Many associations offer their members access to exclusive discounts on products, services, and even insurance. Additionally, they may provide marketing opportunities through sponsored events, networking, or showcasing members' projects. Look for benefits that’ll support your company's growth and profitability.

  • Membership: The size and diversity of an association's membership can impact the networking potential and knowledge-sharing opportunities available to you. Seek out organizations with members who share your professional interests, have similar-sized businesses, or operate in complementary sectors. This will boost your chances of forming meaningful connections and gaining valuable insights.

Take the time to research and compare the offerings of various organizations. Prioritize your specific needs and goals to ensure you make the most out of your membership and reap the benefits these organizations provide.

Related Content: 5 Key Types of Construction Contracts: Expert Guide for Builders

Key Takeaways on Construction Professional Organizations

Construction organizations are influential in advocating for the interests of the industry, offering valuable networking opportunities, and providing their members with relevant education, training, and research.

By joining one or more of the aforementioned organizations, businesses, and professionals working within the construction industry can reap the benefits of their offerings and contribute to a more robust and prosperous industry.


What Is The Purpose Of Construction Trade And Professional Associations?

Construction trade and professional associations, like the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), provide resources and support to the construction industry in the United States. They serve a variety of functions, including:

  • Advocating for the interests of their members and the industry as a whole.

  • Offering education, training, and continuing education units (CEUs) to help professionals stay up-to-date on industry trends, innovations, and regulations.

  • Providing valuable networking opportunities for professionals to connect, discuss, and collaborate on projects, sales, and partnerships.

  • Establishing certification programs to help individuals demonstrate their expertise and commitment to industry standards.

What Construction Associations Offer Voluntary Certification Programs For Construction Managers?

The AGC and ASCE provide voluntary certification programs to help individuals demonstrate their expertise in the field. These certifications help construction managers stand out in their industry by displaying their commitment to skill, integrity, and responsibility. Some examples of each association’s certification programs include the following:

  • The AGC offers the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) program, which recognizes construction managers who’ve met specific academic and professional requirements.

  • The ASCE provides various certifications for civil engineers, such as the Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) and the Engineering Management Certification Program.

What Do Commercial Construction Associations Do?

Commercial construction associations, like the AGC, provide valuable support and resources to construction firms and their employees across the United States. Their primary functions include:

  • Advocating for the industry on important policy and regulatory matters, including infrastructure investment and safety regulations.

  • Offering resources to help businesses be more profitable, such as discount programs and industry-specific information.

  • Providing education and training programs, including safety training and AGC Safety and Health Training Resources, to help workers perform their jobs safely, ethically, and responsibly.

By offering these services and more, commercial construction associations play a crucial role in promoting the growth and success of the construction industry in the United States.

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