Construction Site Manager Job Description

Construction site managers oversee a wide range of residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects. In this role, the construction site manager monitors and directs contractor activities from the start of the job until its completion. This position requires high levels of organization and attention to detail, since the construction site manager needs to ensure that contractors complete their work according to time and budget expectations.

Many construction site managers have a background in contracting or construction trades, as well as project management and team leadership experience. These qualifications help them successfully schedule and direct teams of contractors through complex construction projects.


Construction Site Manager Duties and Responsibilities

While the construction site manager’s specific duties can vary greatly from day to day, they tend to have several core responsibilities:

Direct Contractors

One of the core duties of the construction site manager is directing and overseeing the activities of a range of contractors and subcontractors. This can begin with site preparation and foundation work and continue through the final stages of a construction project. The site manager may provide input on selecting and hiring contractors, make site visits to monitor work progress, and serve as a liaison between contractors and clients.

Manage Timelines

Construction site managers set contractor schedules and delivery dates for certain elements of ongoing construction projects. This can involve determining the order in which contractors work on a series of projects, ensuring that they have available materials, and making sure contractors do not cause one another delays due to conflicting project elements. For example, an electrician may need to run wires only after plumbing and HVAC work has finished.

Consult with Clients

Many construction site managers work closely with clients throughout the project life cycle. This aspect of the role can involve accompanying the client during site visits, answering questions about construction projects and overall progress, and communicating changes between the client and contractors. Additionally, the construction site manager may present contractor questions to the client to avoid any confusion.

Oversee Project Budgets

Construction site managers ensure that projects remain profitable by overseeing budgets throughout the construction process. They may make key decisions regarding materials and provide input on contractor bids to balance quality of work with acceptable margins. As part of their budget oversight role, the construction site manager also identifies opportunities to save by reducing wasteful practices and increasing efficiency.

Maintain Site Safety

Construction site managers play a vital role in maintaining jobsite safety. This can include setting and enforcing standards for each jobsite and making periodic site visits to ensure that contractors and crews are following proper safety protocols. The construction site manager also works to minimize risk, resolve violations and potential hazards, and prepare incident reports in case of an accident or injury.

Prepare Site Reports

From the earliest stages of a construction project, site managers also help coordinate and write site reports, drawings, and other necessary documents. This can include working with architects to identify areas for utility hookups, determining where certain project elements (such as appliances and fixtures) will be located within the structure, and submitting drawings and plans to local municipalities for approval prior to beginning work.


Construction Site Manager Skills and Qualifications

Construction site managers oversee day-to-day work on small- and large-scale construction projects in a variety of industries. Most workers in this role have at least a bachelor’s degree, construction or contracting experience, and the following skills:

  • Project management – this position requires strong project management skills to ensure that large-scale projects are completed on time and that teams achieve construction milestones and deliverables
  • Team leadership – construction site managers provide guidance to contractors and teams of workers, so effective team leadership and coordination are vital in this role
  • Problem-solving skills – construction site managers also need strong problem-solving skills to resolve issues that may arise during the construction process, such as scheduling conflicts or materials issues
  • Attention to detail – because a construction project has so many elements and teams that need oversight, construction site managers also need excellent attention to detail and organization skills to effectively manage schedules
  • Budgeting – financial management is also an important skill for construction site managers to ensure that projects remain profitable and that all elements adhere to client budgets
  • Communication skills – effective written and verbal communication skills are important in this position, since construction site managers work with contractors, clients, architects, and engineers


Construction Site Manager Education and Training

While there are no formal education requirements to become a construction site manager, many companies prefer to hire candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as construction management or architecture. This role also requires significant experience working on and managing construction sites. Experience as a contractor is extremely helpful in this role. Most construction site managers begin as assistants and gain more responsibilities as they increase their level of experience.


Construction Site Manager Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that construction managers earn a median annual salary of $91,370. The highest-earning 10 percent of workers in this role earn more than $159,560 per year, while the lowest-paid construction managers earn less than $54,810.

The BLS expects construction manager employment to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 11 percent through 2026.


Helpful Resources

We searched the web and found several useful resources if you’d like to learn more about working as a construction site manager:

“5 Strategies of a Successful Construction Project Manager” – this blog post provides advice and guidance to help construction project managers and site managers effectively coordinate projects and complete them on time and on budget

Successful Construction Project Management: The Practical Guide – author Paul Netscher explores construction site management, including managing schedules and contractors from planning through execution

Construction Management Association of America – the CMAA offers certification programs for construction management, as well as educational and professional development resources

Construction Management: From Project Concept to Completion – read this book to learn the basics of construction site management as well as how site management and selection relate to project budgets, scoping, and contractor relations


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