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How do I Become a Traveling Superintendent?

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  • Written By: Kevin P. Hanson
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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Employment opportunities for a traveling superintendent are mainly found in the field of construction. Superintendent jobs can also be found in the fields of education and golf course management, however. In order to become a traveling superintendent — sometimes also referred to as supervisor or manager — a person will need to have about 10 years of experience in leading a group of employees, supervising the work of subcontractors, managing students and faculty, and hiring part-time and full-time personnel. The distinguishing qualification to become a traveling superintendent is, of course, having the willingness to travel to assigned locations for on-site project supervision and implementation of the hiring company’s instructions in order to see the project to completion.

A construction traveling superintendent will most likely need a bachelor’s degree in construction science, building science, civil engineering, or mechanical engineering. A person who wants to become a traveling superintendent in the construction industry would also benefit by being computer literate, as programs that manage scheduling, inventory, and personnel are often used. Students pursuing a degree in one of the aforementioned areas can expect to take courses in basic construction mathematics, blueprint reading, project management/critical path method (CPM), and quantity survey.

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Whether the person considering a career as a construction traveling superintendent chooses to earn a degree or not, he or she should know that the next decade is projected to be a busy one. The profession is predicted to expand at a faster rate than the increase in employment in general. Along with this job growth, the job requirements are expected to expand in sophistication. The number of construction materials made from composite products is expected to rise, energy efficiency will likely remain a construction code issue and an overall goal, and environmental issues will likely continue to have an impact.

In education, a traveling school superintendent candidate is expected to possess a superintendent's certificate. This will allow him or her to act as the superintendent or chief administrator of a school district. Many colleges and universities offer a superintendent certificate program. In order to qualify for this program, a person should have earned a graduate degree and three years of teaching experience, among other certifications and test scores.

Golf superintendents manage the maintenance and operations of a golf course. To become a traveling superintendent in this profession, a candidate would need to acquire advanced knowledge of the science of soil management; experience in golf construction methods, principles, and practices; and a thorough understanding of local and regional laws regarding golf course operations and management. In some cases, a golf superintendent might be expected to obtain a license as a pesticide applicator.

The role of the traveling superintendent is a comprehensive and all-encompassing one. Flexibility is perhaps the most important intangible requirement of the job. Most companies expect this person to be on the road at least 50 to 75 percent of the time.

Generally, the job of keeping a project within budget and on time will fall on the superintendent's shoulders. As such, it can also include planning and analyzing the project with the project manager and his or her staff. Scheduling, making sure safety guidelines are being followed, and managing the overall quality of a project will be occupational "hats" that the traveling superintendent will have to wear.

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