Subcontractor vs Contractor: Qualification, Salary, and Responsibility

Subcontractor vs Contractor: Qualification, Salary, and Responsibility

Home / Blog / Construction Management / Subcontractor vs Contractor: Qualification, Salary, and Responsibility

As we talk about subcontractor vs contractor, it is critical to understand that both are professionals who play a vital role in the same industry. Whether it is construction or any other industry, both contractors and subcontractors work together for the success of the project. While the set of responsibilities shared by subcontractor and contractor are similar, there are a few crucial differences between their roles. You must learn about the differences between subcontractor vs contractor to make a well-informed choice when pursuing your career. 

We are here to help you understand the difference in responsibilities of a subcontractor vs contractor. However, let’s first learn about the contractor vs subcontractor definition. 

Who is a Contractor?

Who is a Contractor?

The contractor’s meaning can be best understood by learning about the contractor’s job description. When an individual or a firm hires someone for a particular project then the person is referred to as a contractor. The contractor is hired on a contractual basis rather than working for a firm as a full-time employee or in-house worker. Although contractors can be a part of any project from any industry, the term mainly refers to an individual who monitors the job site for a construction project. 

Who is a Subcontractor?

Who is a Subcontractor?

We can best understand the subcontractor’s meaning by understanding the subcontractor’s job description. A subcontractor is an individual hired by an independent contractor. Subcontractors work with contractors to distribute their workload by distributing tasks to them. These subcontractors are proficient at a particular set of skills that allow them to work with contractors for the completion of any project. 

Subcontractor Vs Contractor 

Subcontractor Vs Contractor 
Subcontractor Vs Contractor 
Subcontractor Contractor
Role and ResponsibilityAccomplishing the particular task assigned to them by the contractor. Overall monitoring and management of the project. 
Source of PaymentPaid by the contractor who hired them. Paid by the client or firm they are hired by. 
SkillsetExpertise in a particular task. Wide range of skills. 
Licensing Requirements Depends on their specialization. Generally required to operate independently in most regions with some exceptions. 

In this section on subcontractor vs contractor, we are going to explore the key differences between subcontractor and contractor. Let’s see:

  • Role and Responsibility

A clear understanding of the difference between their roles and responsibilities is a great way to comprehend subcontractor vs contractor in construction. The responsibilities of a contractor include finding clients and reliable subcontractors as well. They negotiate with the clients, monitor the project, and provide the required workforce and material for the project. 

On the other hand, the subcontractor is responsible for completing the task they are hired for without delay. They ensure compliance with the agreement when completing the task and adapt as per the changing requirements of the policy and project. 

  • Source of Payment

One simple way to understand subcontractor vs contractor is the difference between their source of payment. Who is providing subcontractor vs contractor salary? 

A contractor is hired by their client; thus they get paid by them only. The average contractor salary in India is INR 33,692 per month. A written contract specifies the services to be rendered and the associated compensation rate to be given to the contractor. The payment can be paid to the contractor either at the beginning or after the completion of the project. They can also be paid on a monthly basis or in one go. 

On the other hand, a subcontractor is hired and paid by the contractor as per the specified terms and conditions. The average subcontractor salary is INR 32,327 per month. Subcontractors commonly have less negotiation leverage as the contractor has a restricted budget. While the pay of the contractor is determined by the client, it is not the same for subcontractors. 

  • Skillset

The skills of subcontractor and contractor are commonly similar or complementary. For instance, the expertise in the carpentry of a subcontractor is the same as a contractor. 

However, a contractor is required to possess a wide range of qualities such as leadership, project management, and foresight. The ability to manage a team is crucial for a contractor. 

On the other hand, a subcontractor is required to possess specialized knowledge and expertise in a particular area. A contractor is generally hired to finish a particular part of the whole project instead of monitoring the entire project. 

  • Licensing Requirements

Contractors are generally required to have a license; however, this requirement may vary on the basis of the location they are working in. While any formal education is not necessary for a contractor, it can be an advantage to help them compete with other professionals in the industry. 

The role of a subcontractor requires specialized education and skills. They might require a license on the basis of their proficiency. Certification of subcontractors can be proof of their experience and offer them an advantage over others. 

Find the Right Professional For Your Project!

With a thorough understanding of the difference between the job description of subcontractor and contractor, you can make a well-informed choice for your project requirements. Also, do not forget to get a comprehensive tool for easy construction management that can reduce your overall burden. Field360 offers exclusive features like real-time collaboration, cloud storage, and Detailed Progress Reports that can make monitoring simple and overall management seamless. No matter, if you are a construction manager, investor, supervisor, designer, or contractor, Field 360 can be an ideal choice to help you stay updated on the project anytime and anywhere. 

And for insights on avoiding pitfalls in construction, delve into our guide on the Top 7 Most Common Construction Mistakes. It’s an invaluable resource for professionals seeking to minimize errors and enhance project outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies as a subcontractor?

An individual is qualified as a subcontractor when they are hired under an independent contractor for a special set of tasks rather than getting directly hired by a business or employer.

What is a subcontractor in construction?

A subcontractor is a professional with certain expertise in particular tasks. A subcontractor is hired by a contractor for certain roles and responsibilities.

Should you hire a contractor or subcontractor?

As a big firm or individual client working on a big construction project, you will need to hire a contractor to oversee your project. The subcontractor shall be hired by the contractor to complete particular tasks in the project.

How is a subcontractor different from an independent contractor?

While a subcontractor is someone hired by an independent contractor for particular tasks, an independent contractor is someone directly hired by the company to manage the entire project.

Related Blog