In construction, there are many hats or hard hats as the case may be. That’s because making a building or a structure is complicated and goes through many phases. It has to be designed by an architect and planned by a general contractor. Then, subcontractors build it and vendors are responsible for the resources. One of the most important, but less heralded positions is that of the construction superintendent.
Whether you’re looking to hire a construction superintendent or want to land that job yourself, you’re going to have to consider what you need or how to frame a resume to show you’re the one for the position. That’s why we’ll define what a construction superintendent is, and what they do and then go into a detailed job description that you can cut and paste onto a job board or massage into your resume.
What Is a Construction Superintendent?
A construction superintendent is a professional who helps to manage projects and makes sure that they’re running as planned. One of their main responsibilities is to deal with the construction project’s resources and make sure they’re available for each assignment.
Another aspect of the construction superintendent’s job is to make estimates on how much the work will cost. This will inform the construction budget. In doing this, construction superintendents will work closely with the engineers and subcontractors on the job to figure out what the project needs and oversee the performance of the construction crew.
Construction superintendents need timelines to schedule and manage work. Project management software gives them the tools they need to do their jobs. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that has robust Gantt charts that can organize tasks on a timeline as well as manage human and nonhuman resource costs in real time. Our powerful Gantt chart links all four types of task dependencies to avoid costly delays. Once you’ve set a baseline, progress and cost variants can be tracked in real time to help you stay on schedule and within budget. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.
What Does a Construction Superintendent Do?
What does a construction superintendent do? Many things. They are there to monitor the progress of the project. They do this from the planning phase to the completion of the project. But beyond monitoring the construction schedule, they also monitor the budget, as we’ve noted above.
Another thing that construction superintendents do is to make sure that the project is being executed to quality standards. But it’s not only quality that they’re concerned with, but also that the job site is safe and secure. Construction sites are places of work for extended periods and there aren’t only dangers for outsiders (and those working there) but also expensive equipment and materials that need safeguarding.
The construction superintendent will also stay in close communication with external partners. These can be vendors and lawyers, whom the construction superintendent will negotiate with, usually when purchasing equipment and materials.
Sample Construction Superintendent Job Description
When you post a job listing for a construction superintendent, you’ll want to be thorough. There’s a lot of talent out there and you want to make sure that you attract only those who meet your qualifications. This sample construction superintendent job description will make sure you’re covering all the bases as an employer looking to hire an experienced professional. It’s also helpful for construction superintendents who are on the job hunt and need to have a resume that puts their experience and skills forward.
Before you get to the role, responsibilities, skills, education and salary requirements for this construction project management job, you’re going to have to start with a job brief or summary in the listing. Even if you’re writing a resume, it’s a good idea to start with a short introduction to capture the high-level skills and experience you have. This provides the elevator pitch, so to speak, and it either will put the job listing in context or frame your resume.
Acme Construction, which has been in business for over 20 years, is looking for an experienced construction superintendent to help manage our many projects. The position calls for the supervision of our staff and to make sure that our projects are delivered on time. The construction superintendent will also allocate and monitor project budgets. This is a full-time position with a generous benefits package.
Construction Superintendent Responsibilities
- Manage a team of workers, including their work schedules and resource allocation
- Monitor project progress and ensure that work is done on schedule
- Create cost estimates for labor, supplies, materials and other project costs
- Collaborate with clients, project managers and others to determine timeline and budget
- Coordinate delivery of materials and equipment with vendors and suppliers
- Schedule construction crew and subcontractors
- Hire additional subcontractors and assign work as needed
- Maintain a construction daily log for the job site’s operations
- Report to management as necessary
- Change operations when needed to meet deadlines
- Implement cost-effective management techniques
- Meet with clients, vendors, subcontractors, inspectors and staff on site
- Prevent scope creep
Construction Superintendent Skills
- Excellent communication abilities, both oral and written, plus active listener
- Knowledge of construction budgeting best practices
- Strong planning skills, including design execution, resource allocation and contingencies
- Understanding of construction equipment, including safe operating practices and maintenance
- Comprehends local, state and federal construction regulations
- Great problem-solving and decision-making skills
- Effective leadership abilities, able to motivate team, set goals and resolve conflicts
- Organizational skills, including time management, delegation, prioritization and multitasking
- Construction superintendent education
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant construction-related discipline, such as construction management, engineering or architecture
- Specialized construction superintendent certification preferred
Construction Superintendent Salary
A construction superintendent’s salary can vary depending on the company, location and level of experience of the applicant. In general, a construction superintendent can expect to earn between $88,000 and $145,000 annually.
How to Become a Construction Superintendent
If you’re reading this because you want to become a construction superintendent, you now have a better idea of what’s expected of you. But how do you get there? A good start is education. Most construction superintendents have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related subject. If you don’t have a degree, you better have a significant amount of experience in construction project management. But it’s recommended to study construction management, engineering or architecture first to build a foundation on which your work experience grows.
Either while you’re getting an education or afterward, you’ll need to start accumulating professional construction experience. It’s not likely that you’ll walk into a construction superintendent job without working your way up the ladder. This involves getting on a construction site any way you can. Whatever job you get will inform your future work as a construction superintendent. If you can get some management experience, too, this will help.
There are construction superintendent training programs that can certify you, which will show potential employers that you’ve been trained and vetted by an independent third party. While not a prerequisite, certification can differentiate you from the rest and provide valuable work knowledge. OSHA, a US federal government agency recognized worldwide, offers safety and health fundamentals certification programs, and 10-hour and 30-hour cards. There’s also a certified construction manager, certified safety professional and others.
Construction Superintendent vs. Project Manager
You might have noticed that the job description for a construction superintendent has a lot of similar responsibilities that fall under the purview of a construction project manager. While that is true, these are distinct professions and shouldn’t be confused. Let’s take a look at what separates the two construction management positions.
The construction superintendent is working on the job site with the construction crew and subcontractors, who are under their supervision. They make sure that everything at the construction site is going as planned and report directly to the project manager.
The project manager oversees the administrative aspects of the project and can be on- and off-site. The project manager manages the construction superintendent and reports to the project’s client. The project manager is often working from a distance and dealing with issues that arise in the project and making high-level decisions about the course of the project.
ProjectManager Is Ideal for Construction Superintendents
When you hire or become a construction superintendent you’re going to need help doing your job. One of the most important tools you can have is project management software. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that helps you better monitor the construction crew and subcontractors and manage resources to ensure that everyone is working at capacity and materials and equipment are where they need to be when they need to be there.
Monitor Projects With Real-Time Dashboards
One of the construction superintendent’s job responsibilities is to monitor the progress of the project and make sure that deadlines are met. It’s hard to do that when you’re on the job site managing the construction crew and subcontractors. But with our real-time dashboards, a construction superintendent can get a high-level overview of the project anytime. Live data is automatically collected and displayed in easy-to-read graphs and charts that track project metrics such as time, tasks and cost among others. Unlike lightweight software that requires a lengthy setup, our dashboard is ready when you are.
Allocating resources is another prime responsibility of construction superintendents. They’re responsible for human and nonhuman resources. Our Gantt chart tracks the nonhuman resources and costs. Use our timesheets and workload chart to manage your human resources. Our secure timesheets make it easy to manage labor costs and keep track of how many hours your crew has spent on their tasks. To ensure that everyone is working at capacity, toggle over to our color-coded workload chart, which makes it easy to see who is overallocated. You can then reallocate their tasks right from the chart to balance the team’s workload and keep everyone productive.
When construction superintendents need to update the project manager they can use our reporting tools. There are status reports, reports on variance, timesheets, workload and more. All of these project reports can be filtered to just show the data you want for your presentation. Each report can also be saved in a variety of formats to deliver through the channel your project manager prefers.
ProjectManager is online project management software that connects teams whether they’re in the office, on the job site or anywhere in between. They can share files, comment at the task level and get notified by email or in-app alerts to stay updated on any changes. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.