What Does a Civil Supervisor Do?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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A civil supervisor works in conjunction with construction and repair crews on projects that involve the infrastructure of a town, city, or public highway. Monitoring safety practices and developing communication between all agencies involved, the civil supervisor assists in the implementation of operational plans and develops work or construction priorities. On projects that involve road, bridge, or tunnel service or construction, the civil supervisor assists in developing alternate traffic routes. It is also the job of the civil employee to monitor and record pavement conditions when a task is highway- or road-related.

The typical highway construction or resurfacing operation is completed by private contractors who have usually won the right to undertake the project via the lowest submitted bid. In an effort to monitor the progress and procedure of the project, a civil supervisor oversees the entire operation. It is the job of the civil supervisor to make certain that all safety and proper procedural aspects of the project are followed to the absolute letter of code and plan. Environmental restrictions, safety codes, and expectations, as well as mechanical and engineering guidelines, are monitored by the civil supervisor. Any noncompliance to the proper procedure can be grounds to terminate progress until the issue has been corrected.


Working with the general contractor, subcontractors, and engineers, the civil supervisor makes certain that the work adheres to the management plan implemented at the beginning of the project. Developing and overseeing the work schedule with all department heads is tantamount to proceeding with the project as planned. Often, coordination between major transportation industries such as rail, airports, and public bus lines are subject to time delays, altered scheduling, and revised routing by the civil supervisor. In some circumstances, river traffic such as barges, ferry service, and draw bridge operation must also be scheduled to better serve the working hours.

Occasionally, the civil officer is charged with patching damaged relationships between different job site workforces. In order to promote smooth operation and workplace cohesion, the civil supervisor will build a work site dynamic that includes all members of the project so that steps can be taken to correct any misgivings between agencies and crews. Verification of proper construction methods, preparation of the job site, and implementation of correct building practices are all overseen by the civil department. Any impropriety or deviation from the work plan will be grounds for job site shutdown by the civil engineer until all corrections are made.


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