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Become A Superintendent

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Working As A Superintendent

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Scheduling Work and Activities
  • Getting Information
  • $146,948

    Average Salary

What Does A Superintendent Do

A Superintendent is a person who supervises and coordinates an organization or activity. Some job titles include school, construction, and electrical superintendent.

How To Become A 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.


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.


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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Superintendent jobs

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Superintendent Career Paths

Superintendent Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Portuguese

  • Italian

  • German

  • Carrier

  • Russian

  • Dakota

  • Arabic

  • Vietnamese

  • Korean

  • Albanian

  • Croatian

  • Japanese

  • Hindi

  • Dutch

  • Mandarin

  • Hawaiian

  • Norwegian

  • Navajo

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Superintendent Education


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Real Superintendent Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Commissioning Superintendent Chiyoda International Corporation Houston, TX Oct 10, 2016 $370,000
Driling Superintendent Marathon Oil Company Houston, TX Jun 11, 2012 $167,000
Vessel Superintendent Canyon Offshore Inc. Houston, TX Aug 05, 2016 $156,506 -
Hsec Superintendent Broken Hill Proprietary (USA), Inc. Vancouver, WA Sep 14, 2012 $155,000
Hsec Superintendent Broken Hill Proprietary (USA), Inc. Vancouver, WA Dec 19, 2011 $155,000
Superintendent Processes Broken Hill Proprietary (USA) Inc. Tucson, AZ Aug 01, 2012 $150,000
Commissioning Superintendent Lummus Technology, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Sep 09, 2016 $150,000
Commissioning Superintendent Lummus Technology, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Sep 08, 2016 $150,000
Field Superintendent Savanna Energy Services (USA) Corp. Waynesburg, PA Feb 18, 2015 $150,000
Commissioning Superintendent CB&I Inc. Houston, TX Aug 10, 2015 $149,760
Instrumentation Superintendent BP America Inc. Whiting, IN Oct 01, 2015 $145,100
Cargo Superintendent AAL Shipping (USA) LLC Houston, TX Sep 20, 2016 $129,917 -
Vessel Superintendent Canyon Offshore Inc. Houston, TX May 07, 2014 $126,090 -
Vessel Superintendent Canyon Offshore Inc. Houston, TX Apr 05, 2012 $126,006 -
Superintendent Regency General Contractors, Inc. Milpitas, CA Jan 29, 2015 $125,986
Fleet Superintendent V.Ships USA, LLC Beverly, MA Mar 19, 2012 $125,000
Main Span Tower Superintendent American Bridge Company Tarrytown, NY Mar 01, 2015 $122,000
Superintendent, Standards and Change Control Pinto Valley Mining Corp. Miami, AZ Aug 07, 2014 $101,213 -
Superintendent Hayward Baker, Inc. MD Jan 07, 2015 $99,675
Superintendent Hayward Baker, Inc. MD Jul 01, 2015 $99,675
Superintendent-Technical Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC UT Jan 18, 2016 $98,717 -
Superintendent, Standards and Change Control Pinto Valley Mining Corp. Miami, AZ Nov 13, 2013 $98,676 -
Fleet Superintendent V.Ships USA LLC Miami, FL May 13, 2011 $96,000
Field Superintendent (Mechanical Engineer) Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation Dallas, TX Jul 01, 2012 $95,252
Superintendent-Geotechnical & Hydrology Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC UT Jan 03, 2014 $95,243 -

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Top Skills for A Superintendent


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Top Superintendent Skills

  1. General Contractors
  2. Civilian Personnel
  3. ISO
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work with employees, upper management, general contractors and inspectors to successfully complete projects.
  • Led 42 2S/2T military and civilian personnel in providing 24-hour inbound and outbound cargo support.
  • Managed the contributions of supervisory staff and skilled workers (electricians, framers, plumbers, etc.)
  • Supervised contractors in the construction of a $200,000,000 Biochemical facility.
  • Hired and supervised construction workers and sub-contractors.

Top Superintendent Employers

Superintendent Videos

Education Career Advice from an Asst. Superintendent from drkit.org

Superintendent Perspective - PENTA Building Group

Direct Entry Superintendent Paul Clements – a personal perspective on a new career challenge