A construction manager or site manager organises and supervises the day to day work on a building site. On a small site you would have full responsibility for the project, on a larger site, you may have responsibility for a particular area, with a senior site manager in charge overall.
You could be:
discussing contract tenders with other members of the team
preparing the site, installing temporary offices and ordering materials
hiring and managing construction workers
organising the different activities on site, either directly (on a small site) or by instructing the supervisors of different sections (on a big site)
monitoring the progress of the work, checking the quality against the written specifications, the speed against the schedule and the costs against the budget
checking that the work meets building regulations
completing records and legal documentation, such as health and safety details, on a regular basis
writing regular reports on the progress of the project
working with other professionals, such as architects and engineers.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Salaries for newly qualified construction or site managers range from £26,000 to £33,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £33,000 and £55,000. Senior and chartered managers can earn in the region of £50,000 to £85,000 a year.
You usually work from an office on site.
You would visit sites in all weathers.
You climb ladders and scaffolding.
You wear a hi-vis vest, hard hat and safety boots.
You work long hours including weekends and on call duty.
You often have to live away from home for periods of time.
You usually need a degree (SCQF Levels 9-10), HNC (SCQF Level 7) or HND (SCQF Level 8) in a relevant subject. This could be in construction, civil engineering, construction management, architecture or building surveying. You should check your qualification is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
Entry requirements vary according to the level of course, but are normally 1-3 Highers for an HNC or HND and 4-5 Highers for a degree.
You may be able to do a technical level Modern Apprenticeship at (SCQF Level 7) and enter at a junior level, working your way up with experience.
You need to hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a construction site.
You need good knowledge of, and sometimes a qualification in, health and safety.
Jobs are mainly with building contractors or construction companies.
What Does it Take?
You need to be:
able to work to deadlines and to remain calm when working under pressure
willing to take responsibility
able to handle budgets.
You need to have:
good organisational skills
problem solving skills
strong communication skills
knowledge of all aspects of construction
excellent leadership skills
project management skills
knowledge of health and safety requirements
Training is on the job.
You can work towards the SVQ in Construction Site Supervision: (Construction) Building and Civil Engineering at SCQF Level 7.
You can become a member of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB) by completing the Professional Development Programme (PDP) over 18 months to 2 years. A suitable degree is required and you may also need to be employed in a suitable role (refer to the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) website for details).
There are other routes to becoming chartered if you have other qualifications or extensive experience.
You might complete the National Examination Board in Occupational Health and Safety (NEBOSH) National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety.
After gaining your HNC, HND or degree and some practical experience with an employer, you can go on to register with the Engineering Council as a professional engineer – either Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).
For IEng you need to have either a recognised Bachelor’s degree or a recognised HNC or HND plus further study to Bachelor’s degree level.
For CEng you need to have a recognised Bachelor’s degree with Honours plus a recognised Masters degree (or equivalent), or a recognised integrated Master of Engineering (MEng) degree.
If you do not have any of the above qualifications, you may still be able to achieve IEng or CEng by other approved routes. You can check these alternative routes with the Engineering Council or with the appropriate professional engineering institution.
With experience you can move on, for example, from managing one building site to managing several.
Medium or large organisations, either building contractors or local authorities, offer the best prospects of promotion.
You would be expected to keep up to date with recent developments including health and safety legislation and first aid.