Construction supervisors have many responsibilities. They are in charge of the laborers who are working at a construction site. Supervisors also are in contact with the project manager and are responsible for communication between the manager and the work crew. A construction supervisor is usually highly educated and experienced in construction. Responsibilities can change from day to day, depending on what is happening at the construction site.
A construction supervisor helps to keep all work at a construction site flowing smoothly. To this end, construction supervisors are in charge of all the laborers who work on the project. The supervisor ensures that workers arrive on time, work as they are supposed to, and do not cause problems. The supervisor checks the quality of the work that is being done and ensures that everything is up to code. Supervisors also are in charge of ensuring that the workers do their jobs efficiently enough to bring the project to completion on time and within budget, but supervisors typically do not have to do manual labor themselves.
Working under the direction of the project manager, a construction supervisor is the line of communication between the project manager and the laborers. It is important for supervisors to stay neutral, focusing on what's best for the project and not getting too close to the laborers or the project manager. This will allow for a more peaceful and efficient work site.
Experience and education are important to a construction supervisor. Many construction supervisors have had a long career in construction and may have at least 10 years of experience before becoming a supervisor. This way they fully understand what is required of the job, what workers need and what project managers want, enabling them to keep work going and ensuring needs are met. Supervisors often have engineering training and must put it to use to ensure that projects can be built the way plans show and to be able to make suggestions when things will not work out as desired. A construction supervisor also must learn business management and people skills to be an effective supervisor.
The responsibilities of a construction supervisor vary day by day. Scheduling problems can require most of a supervisor's attention one day while planning problems may need the supervisor's expertise the next day. Disputes must be managed as they arise and budgeting is always necessary. Construction supervisors have to be versatile and ready to take on any challenge that presents itself.