Construction Site Supervisor Job Description

Construction site supervisors lead teams in completing construction projects. They are direct overseers who know what needs to be done and find ways to make it happen. Using the blueprints and other instructions given to them by managers and clients, construction site supervisors watch over the labor being performed to ensure the final product meets specifications in terms of design, safety, and budget.

Construction site supervisors spend much of their time at project sites. They also might have an office in which they hold meetings or perform administrative tasks. Demand for construction site supervisors and other jobs categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers is expected to increase 10 percent through 2024, with more than 10,000 job openings each year resulting from new jobs being created and existing jobs becoming available.


Construction Site Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

Construction site supervisors are the go-to people regarding what is happening with projects at the site location. Such a leadership position entails having a variety of responsibilities. Our analysis of job postings revealed these activities to be among the most common and important for construction site supervisors:

Construction site supervisors have their finger on the pulse of everything related to the project. Actions include scheduling workers, watching budgets, and making sure instructions are carried out properly. With their first-hand knowledge of what is going on, they are in a good position to recommend changes to working conditions or procedures to increase efficiency. Construction site supervisors also may be responsible for ordering supplies, obtaining permits, and scheduling subcontractors.

Nobody wants accidents to happen, so construction site supervisors take safety seriously. They follow best practices and governmental regulations regarding safety, and they make sure workers and visitors wear protective gear. They inspect the site for possible pitfalls, such as messes that need to be cleaned up, and schedule regular maintenance of equipment to ensure it functions correctly. Before inspectors arrive, construction site supervisors make certain everything is up to code so that there will not be delays in approval.

When questions arise as to how something should be done, crews know they can turn to the construction site supervisors for answers. Likewise, construction site supervisors write reports on work activity and personnel. This information helps to keep all parties involved in the project in the loop and up to date.


Construction Site Supervisor Skills

Successful construction site supervisors take pride in their work. They want to run a safe, efficient site that keeps operations flowing and delivers quality end products. Hiring managers also like to see evidence of candidates capable of doing the following:

  • Paying close attention to detail to avoid errors or safety lapses
  • Motivating team members to stay on task and work hard
  • Communicating well to provide team members with clear instructions and to give managers and clients pertinent updates
  • Multitasking to effectively juggle competing demands
  • Thinking critically in order to figure out courses of action when problems arise


Construction Site Supervisor Tools of the trade

Of course a construction site supervisor should have a thorough knowledge of the materials and equipment being used. However, there are many other items common in the job, including these:

  • Safety gear – reflective vests, work boots, hard hats, eyewear, and other things worn for protection
  • Blueprints – design plans or technical drawings showing what will be created
  • Budget – the amount of money allowed for each specific part of the overall project, such as for labor or materials
  • Building codes – location-specific regulations governing the design, construction, alteration, and maintenance of structures in order to ensure safety – such as minimum standards that must be met when putting in new pipework
  • Computers – used for scheduling, creating spreadsheets, writing reports, and corresponding by email


Construction Site Supervisor Education and Training

Most construction site supervisors hold at least a high school diploma. About 40 percent of construction site supervisors have completed some post-secondary training or a degree program. Applicants for construction site supervisor positions typically have at least five years of work experience in construction or a related field.


Construction Site Supervisor Salary

The median annual salary for construction site supervisors, categorized by the BLS as “first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers,” is $62,980. Construction site supervisors in the 10th percentile earn about $40,000 a year, and the highest paid make in excess of $102,800 a year. Construction site supervisors in Alaska, New York, and Illinois make the highest median salaries in the U.S. – $94,530, $80,440, and $79,490, respectively.


Construction Site Supervisor Resources

Do you have what it takes to become a successful construction site supervisor? These organizations and books can help in your decision-making process:

Associated General Contractors of America – From industry trends to construction data, this organization’s website covers topics of concern to construction site supervisors. Learn about educational opportunities, peruse the job board, or brush up on the latest news in health and safety.

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America – With more than half a million members and a history spanning some 135 years, this trade union is a go-to source for questions related to construction careers.

Professional Women in Construction – Since 1980, this organization has been working to advance women and minorities in construction and related fields. Its website contains a job board as well as information on networking events.

How to Be a Site Manager – While geared toward the United Kingdom, this eBook offers universal advice to construction site supervisors covering areas such as motivation, dealing with problems, leadership, and safety.

Construction Leadership from A to Z – Touted as providing “practical information that you can put into action immediately,” this book prepares readers to develop leadership skills and meet construction challenges with confidence. Each chapter is supported by online video to further the learning process.

Construction Leadership Success: The Construction Foreman’s Definitive Guide for Running Safe, Efficient and Profitable Projects – Reviewers call this book of industry-specific advice “relatable” and “a great training tool.”


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