Site Manager Job Description

Also known as construction managers, site managers primarily oversee construction projects to ensure timely and cost-efficient completion. They report on the progress of construction projects, ensure that all specifications are being met, review safety practices and adherence to safety regulations, assess project risks, and inspect tools and materials. Site managers are also involved in worker management, contract negotiations, and quality control processes.

Site managers work mainly for construction or contracting companies, but might also be employed by engineering firms or utility companies. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this occupation can expect an 11 percent job growth rate through 2026. Ongoing upgrades to the U.S. infrastructure and building renovations are believed to be among the main reasons for this projected employment growth rate.


Site Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Site managers are responsible for attending to many tasks throughout the day. We have closely examined several job listings and found the following to be among those most desired by companies seeking to hire site managers:

Monitor Progress of Construction Projects

A major role of site managers is to conduct on-site inspections of building projects to ensure that cost and time estimations are being met. They review progress with workers and managers and generate progress reports detailing completed work, estimated completion, and other details.

Oversee Materials and Tools

It is usually up to site managers to ensure that all needed materials for a construction project are ordered and delivered and that all necessary tools are supplied to a job site. These managers will review materials orders and decide which materials will best meet job demands and budget parameters.

Review Adherence to Safety Regulations

Site managers conduct periodic inspections of safety practices at construction job sites and review regulations with managers, workers, and contractors. They oversee safety training and make sure that all tools and on-site items meet safety standards.

Manage Worker Contracts

Site managers are usually involved in assembling crews to work on specific projects. They typically handle all contract negotiations and are involved in worker hiring, training, and termination.


Site Manager Skills

It is essential that site managers possess strong organizational, analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills to be effective at this job. The ability to work in teams and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is important for these professionals. Successful site managers should be able to employ troubleshooting skills and be detail-oriented leaders who can work independently as needed. Above-average math and computer skills are extremely helpful. In addition to the skills mentioned here, it is imperative that site managers demonstrate the following:

  • Assessing the progress of construction projects
  • Overseeing construction workers and contractors
  • Reviewing project specifications and drawings
  • Addressing safety practices and regulations
  • Making certain that proper tools and materials are being used
  • Negotiating contracts and ensure adherence to budgets


Site Manager Tools of the Trade

Site managers typically rely on a few tools to help them complete their job tasks. If you have the desire to become a site manager, you should have a thorough understanding of the following:

  • Construction management software – from cost estimations to project scheduling strategies, construction management software is a major tool utilized by site managers
  • Building codes – knowledge of local building codes is crucial for site managers, as they are responsible for inspecting completed work to ensure it meets all specifications
  • Basic computer applications – site managers typically communicate via email and generate various reports, so it is important that they are adept at Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel applications


Site Manager Education and Training

While some employers might seek job candidates without a formal postsecondary education, many will only consider potential site managers who hold a bachelor’s degree in construction management, construction science, or engineering. On-the-job training is usually conducted under the supervision of senior site managers or construction managers. Voluntary certification, such as the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) designation, can be obtained for career advancement purposes.


Site Manager Salary

Recently, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for site managers is $89,300. Those in the 10th percentile earn $53,740, while top earners can realize median annual wages of $158,330. The highest annual mean salaries are typically realized by those involved in the construction of commercial building projects and building equipment contractors. Demographically, the highest mean annual wages for site managers are seen in New Jersey ($141,500), Alaska ($127,810), and New York ($121,030).


Site Manager Resources

It is always helpful to review additional resources when contemplating a career in any field. Below, we have supplied links to books, professional organizations, and more to help you understand what is involved in becoming and working as a site manager:

Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) – From training webinars to conferences and trade shows, CMAA is a prime source for site managers interested in learning about certification, networking, or professional development opportunities.

Building Design + Construction Magazine – A digital publication providing articles of interest for everyone from architects to site managers. Offers articles on design trends and strategies and contains a Building Team section that includes topics of interest to site managers, with news on top construction firms, negotiation practices, and much more.

Construction Executive – How can cameras help site managers monitor workflow and progress? What are effective worker recruiting practices? These are the kinds of topics you will find addressed in articles presented in this online publication.

Capterra Construction Management Blog – Hosted by a business software advisor, this blog explores cost estimating practices, construction technology, and industry trends that would attract potential and current site managers.

HardHatChat – Site managers will find many articles of interest on this blog, from site planning practices to scheduling. You can find out what site managers control, labor trends, site manager roles, site safety standards, and so much more.

Construction Site Planning and Logistical Operations: Site-Focused Management for Builders – This book supplies a thorough look at construction site environments, organization, engineering issues, safety practices, and much more. It contains chapters on project scheduling, site equipment, project site controls, inspection, and site administration.

Construction Site Safety: A Guide for Managing Contractors – Safety on a construction site is of utmost importance and adherence to safety standards falls under the umbrella of site managers. This book explores project safety practices and components of successful workplace safety programs.


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