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Become A Project Superintendent

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Working As A Project Superintendent

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Scheduling Work and Activities
  • Getting Information
  • $65,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Project Superintendent Do

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Duties

Construction managers typically do the following:

  • Prepare cost estimates, budgets, and work timetables
  • Interpret and explain contracts and technical information to other professionals
  • Report work progress and budget matters to clients
  • Collaborate with architects, engineers, and other construction specialists
  • Select subcontractors and schedule and coordinate their activities
  • Respond to work delays, emergencies, and other problems
  • Comply with legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations

Construction managers, often called general contractors or project managers, coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of public, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, as well as roads, memorials, and bridges. Either a general contractor or a construction manager will oversee the construction phase of a project, although a construction manager may also consult with the client during the design phase to help refine construction plans and control costs.

Construction managers oversee specialized contractors and other personnel. They schedule and coordinate all construction processes so that projects meet design specifications. They ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Some managers may be responsible for several projects at once—for example, the construction of multiple apartment buildings.  

Construction managers work closely with other building specialists, such as architects, civil engineers, and a variety of trade workers, including stonemasons, electricians, and carpenters. Projects may require specialists in everything from structural steel and painting to landscaping, paving roads, and excavating sites. Depending on the project, construction managers may interact with lawyers and local government officials. For example, when working on city-owned property or municipal buildings, managers sometimes confer with city inspectors to ensure that all regulations are met.

For projects too large to be managed by one person, such as office buildings and industrial complexes, a top-level construction manager hires other construction managers to be in charge of different aspects of the project. For example, each construction manager would oversee a specific phase of the project, such as structural foundation, plumbing, or electrical work, and choose subcontractors to complete it. The top-level construction manager would then collaborate and coordinate with the other construction managers.

To maximize efficiency and productivity, construction managers often perform the tasks of a cost estimator. They use specialized cost-estimating and planning software to allocate time and money in order to complete their projects. Many managers also use software to plan the best way to get materials to the building site.

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How To Become A Project Superintendent

Large construction firms increasingly prefer candidates with both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field. While some individuals with a high school diploma and many years of experience in a construction trade may be hired as construction managers, these individuals are typically qualified to become self-employed general contractors.

Education

It is becoming increasingly important for construction managers to have a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering. As construction processes become more complex, employers are placing greater importance on specialized education.

More than 100 colleges and universities offer accredited bachelor’s degree programs in construction science, building science, or construction engineering. These programs include courses in project control and management, design, construction methods and materials, cost estimation, building codes and standards, and contract administration. Courses in mathematics and statistics are also relevant.

More than fifty 2-year colleges offer construction management or construction technology programs. An associate’s degree combined with work experience is typical for managers who supervise smaller projects.  

A few universities offer master’s degree programs in construction management.

Those with a high school diploma and several years of relevant work experience may qualify to become a construction manager, although most are qualified to become self-employed general contractors.

Training

New construction managers are typically hired as assistants and work under the guidance of an experienced manager. This training period may last several months to several years, depending on the firm.

Work Experience

If the typical education is not obtained, practical construction experience is important for jobseekers, because it reduces the need for initial on-the-job training. Internships, cooperative education programs, and previous work in the construction industry can provide that experience. Some construction managers become qualified solely through extensive construction experience, spending many years in carpentry, masonry, or other construction specialties.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification is becoming increasingly important for construction managers. Certification is valuable because it can demonstrate knowledge and experience.

The Construction Management Association of America awards the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) designation to workers who have the required experience and who pass a technical exam. It is recommended that applicants for this certification complete a self-study course that covers the professional role of a construction manager, legal issues, the allocation of risk, and other topics related to construction management.

The American Institute of Constructors awards the Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) designations to candidates who meet its requirements and pass the appropriate construction exams.

Some states require licensure for construction managers. For more information, contact your state licensing board.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Most managers plan a project strategy, handle unexpected issues and delays, and solve problems that arise over the course of the project. In addition, many managers use cost-estimating and planning software to determine costs and the materials and time required to complete projects.

Business skills. Construction managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Choosing competent staff and establishing good working relationships with them is critical.

Customer-service skills. Construction managers are in constant contact with owners, inspectors, and the public. They must form good working relationships with these people and ensure their needs are met.

Decisionmaking skills. Construction managers choose personnel and subcontractors for specific tasks and jobs. Often, these choices must be made quickly to meet deadlines and budgets.

Initiative. Self-employed construction managers generate their business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients. They often market their services and bid on jobs, and they must also learn to perform special home improvement projects, such as installing mosaic glass tiles, sanding wood floors, and insulating homes.

Leadership skills. Managers must effectively delegate tasks to construction workers, subcontractors, and other lower level managers.

Speaking skills. Managers must give clear orders, explain complex information to construction workers and clients, and discuss technical details with other building specialists, such as architects. Self-employed construction managers must get their own projects, so the need to sell their services to potential clients is critical.

Technical skills. Managers must know construction methods and technologies, and must be able to interpret contracts and technical drawings.

Time-management skills. Construction managers must meet deadlines. They ensure that construction phases are completed on time so that the next phase can begin as scheduled. For instance, a building’s foundation cannot be constructed until the land is completely excavated.

Writing skills. Construction managers must write proposals, plans, and budgets, as well as document the progress of the work for clients and others involved in the building process.

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Project Superintendent jobs

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Project Superintendent Career Paths

Project Superintendent
Division Manager Estimator Project Manager
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Construction Coordinator Assistant Project Manager
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Site Manager Property Manager
Director Of Property Management
9 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Chief Estimator
Estimating Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Project Manager Estimator
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Construction Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Lead Mechanic
Mechanical Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Supervisor Project Engineering Manager
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Owner/Project Manager Superintendent
Piping Superintendent
7 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Operations Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Manager Safety Manager
Project Safety Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Project Manager Operations Manager
Regional Operation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
General Manager Site Manager
Site/Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Site Manager Construction Manager
Vice President Of Construction
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Superintendent 4.6 years
Project Executive 3.9 years
Project Manager 3.6 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Project Supervisor 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Foreman 6.4%
Owner 4.9%
Carpenter 3.9%
Supervisor 1.6%
Top Employers After
Owner 5.2%
Foreman 2.2%
Carpenter 1.7%
Supervisor 1.7%

Project Superintendent Demographics

Gender

Male

95.2%

Female

3.2%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

82.5%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.9%

French

5.8%

Italian

2.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

German

1.9%

Dakota

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Marshallese

1.0%

Indonesian

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Hawaiian

1.0%

Chinese

1.0%

Dutch

1.0%

Russian

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%

Cheyenne

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Navajo

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%
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Project Superintendent Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.4%

Purdue University

7.6%

University of Florida

5.8%

Texas A&M University

5.5%

East Carolina University

5.1%

Clemson University

5.1%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

4.7%

Mississippi State University

4.7%

Villanova University

4.4%

Ferris State University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.4%

Arizona State University

4.4%

Florida State University

4.4%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.0%

Kansas State University

4.0%

West Virginia University

4.0%

University of Iowa

4.0%

Eastern Michigan University

4.0%

New York University

3.6%

Auburn University

3.6%
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Majors

Construction Management

21.6%

Business

21.3%

Civil Engineering

9.1%

Project Management

5.4%

Management

5.2%

Education

4.0%

Engineering

3.6%

General Studies

3.2%

Mechanical Engineering

3.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.0%

Architecture

2.8%

Industrial Technology

2.6%

Drafting And Design

2.1%

Property Management

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Construction Engineering Technologies

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.8%

Accounting

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

42.0%

Bachelors

31.1%

Associate

12.2%

Masters

6.4%

Certificate

6.3%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Project Superintendent Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Superintendent Brunel Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 19, 2014 $300,300
Project Superintendent Brunel Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $227,200
Project Superintendent Hudson Meridian Construction Group, LLC New York, NY May 19, 2016 $125,000
Project Superintendent Hudson Meridian Construction Group, LLC New York, NY Nov 27, 2014 $125,000
Project Superintendent Structure Tone Inc. New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $108,160 -
$128,800
Project Superintendent Structure Tone Inc. New York, NY Jul 29, 2016 $108,160
Project Superintendent Structure Tone Inc. New York, NY Dec 06, 2013 $101,150 -
$106,000
Project Superintendent Structure Tone Inc. New York, NY Nov 12, 2015 $100,450
Project Superintendent H.J. High Construction Company, Inc. Orlando, FL Nov 05, 2015 $67,100
Construction Project Superintendent IMEC Group, LLC Columbia, MD Mar 31, 2016 $65,000
Project Superintendent II Landscapes Unlimited, LLC Scottsdale, AZ Dec 02, 2013 $65,000
Project Superintendent PMY Construction Corp. North Bergen, NJ Jun 01, 2012 $65,000
Assistant Project Superintendent McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Atlanta, GA Sep 06, 2012 $65,000
Project Superintendent Taft Corporation Agoura Hills, CA Oct 02, 2013 $64,196
Assistant Project Superintendent Hudson Meridian Construction Group, LLC New York, NY Sep 10, 2013 $61,298
Project Superintendent C.W. Services, Inc. Long Beach, CA May 21, 2010 $61,128
Project Superintendent Taft Corporation Malibu, CA Oct 02, 2010 $61,128
Project Superintendent Emuna Construction LLC North Miami Beach, FL Sep 09, 2014 $60,000
Project Superintendent HCD Developers LLC Doral, FL Oct 15, 2012 $60,000

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Top Skills for A Project Superintendent

GeneralContractorsFacilityContractDocumentsConstructionProjectsOwnersSquareFootProjectScheduleArchitectsSiteSupervisionOshaScopeRFIJobSiteCityInspectorsNewConstructionUnitsProjectManagementConstructionActivitiesHvacStructuralSteel

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Top Project Superintendent Skills

  1. General Contractors
  2. Facility
  3. Contract Documents
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide daily field reports required for general contractors, project managers and general superintendent.
  • Supervised the planning and construction of four Office Complexes and one Sport Facility costing more than $35 million.
  • Coordinated subcontractors and ensured compliance of contract documents.
  • Managed several million dollar construction projects from start to finish.
  • Communicate respectfully and effectively with project owners, inspectors, public, and project team.

Top Project Superintendent Employers

Project Superintendent Videos

What are General Conditions" on a Building Project? (www.AutoBuilders.net)"

A Day in a Project Manager's Life

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