What does a Construction Site Manager do?

Ken Black

A construction site manager, sometimes called a construction supervisor, may be associated with the general contractor or may work independently to supervise a construction site. In addition to making sure all safety procedures are followed, this individual is also responsible for making sure the process stays on budget and on schedule. If the project overruns in either, or both of these areas, it is up to construction site manager to justify these issues to the owner of the project.

Construction site project managers are often architects.
Construction site project managers are often architects.

In most cases, the site manager will meet regularly with the owner or commissioner of the project. This will allow the interested parties to remain fully informed of any potential issues, and then make the necessary decisions with the new information. There can be valid reasons for cost overruns, or construction delays. These will need to be thoroughly explained. This is a must in any form of construction management.

Construction site managers are responsible for ensuring that the construction process stays on budget and on schedule.
Construction site managers are responsible for ensuring that the construction process stays on budget and on schedule.

The construction site manager is responsible for coordinating the work schedules and deliveries, and making sure the building site is run efficiently. For example, loaders may work during the early morning or evening hours, while laborers work during the day. This stops the construction site from becoming overcrowded by too many people in the construction zone, which may lead to inefficiencies, or safety issues. Further, it ensures materials are in place when the construction workers are ready to begin.

A person managing a construction site will also work closely with any subcontractors to schedule them at appropriate times. In some cases, having plumbing and electrical subcontractors in the same area at the same time could be inconvenient as they may get in each other's way. It is up to the construction site manager to anticipate these potential conflicts, and deal with them ahead of time. This will help keep the project on schedule and within budget.

If a major change in the project is required, the construction site manager will usually be the one who draws up a change order, or directs the order to be drawn. Once that takes place, the manager will then take that order to the decision-making body, be it an executive officer or board of directors, explain the situation, and make a recommendation. The recommendation usually constitutes the majority of the change order.

Jobs for construction managers are heavily dependent on the economy. The fewer projects there are, the less need there is for such managers. However, for those who are capable managers, there are always jobs available. The qualifications include having a degree in construction science or engineering, as well as some form of management experience. However, many managers also start simply as laborers and work their way up through the ranks, learning the business along the way, and may have no college degree at all.

A construction site manager must ensure the safety of all workers at the site.
A construction site manager must ensure the safety of all workers at the site.

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Discussion Comments


@DFMeyers- I am also thinking about getting into this field. I am just wondering if the construction site manager salary is worth it. From what I have read, it is less than 50,000. If I have to go to school for 4 years, I want to make more money than that.


My uncle is a construction worker. He is seriously thinking about going back to school to get into construction site management. With his experience, he would make a great site manager.

I think you have to obtain a bachelor's degree for the job, but he might be able to take less classes because of his experience. He is going to talk to an academic advisor soon. He could even possibly get a manager job without any college, but he would rather have the education so more doors will be open to him. It is better to have a piece of paper that says you can do it.

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