Dock builders have usually been in the construction business for many years, gathering experience on all types of lake, sea, and river docks. They may also build wharf and jetty structures as well. They often work solely in the marine industry, although they may build on land as well.
Many dock builders are also engineers, who work with architects on a regular basis to come up with sound plans for incorporating a dock within a marina. They may work with wholesaler lumber dealers as well, to get the necessary materials, equipment, tools, and accessories like bumpers they need for a job.
Although no higher education is necessarily needed in this field, it is a plus to have a specialty and a degree. Necessary skills to possess as a builder include good coordination and logistics skills, excellent communication among members of the team, time management skills, and good business sense.
Many dock builders and contractors give out estimates and quotes on particular projects to give the customer a sense of the scope and cost. Many of these estimates are free, as an added bonus to the potential client.
In this business, it helps to have a specialty. While many dock builders use wooden boards and pilings to construct docks, others specialize in aluminum docks. Docks can be simple floating structures that jut out into the water, or provide moorings for boats in a lake marina. Others can be elaborate, featuring reinforced concrete decking, custom boat lifts, water slides, ladders, and gates.
Construction contractors who build docks should have a keen eye for detail, the proper certification and licensing, and an ability to bring a project full circle within a specified time frame.