Construction Superintendent Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Construction Superintendent, or Construction Supervisor, is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all of the activities of a construction site according to project blueprints and schedule plans. Their duties include coordinating subcontractors, performing quality control and safety checks and providing on-site direction when preparing construction sites.

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Construction Superintendent duties and responsibilities

Construction Superintendents complete organizational and project management responsibilities to effectively lead the construction team and ensure they have all of the resources they need. They often have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Manage a team of workers, including work schedules, project progress and resource allocation
  • Create cost estimates for labor, supplies, materials and other project costs
  • Collaborate with clients, Project Managers, other construction management to determine budget and timeline
  • Coordinate materials and equipment delivery with vendors and suppliers
  • Create schedules for workers and subcontractors
  • Hire additional subcontractors and assign work accordingly
  • Maintain a daily log for the job site’s operations, reporting to management as necessary
  • Make changes in the operation as necessary to best meet construction deadlines
  • Implement management techniques that are cost-effective and efficient
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What does a Construction Superintendent do?

Construction Superintendents are generally employed by construction companies to manage building projects and supervise the day-to-day activities involved with constructing a new structure. They assess the resources needed to complete a construction project and generate cost estimates to help set the project budget. Construction Superintendents manage the general construction staff, hiring specialists, delegating tasks to team members and creating the staff schedule. They observe all activities on a construction site and maintain a site log that explains what was accomplished and where the construction team needs to resume the next workday.

Construction Superintendent skills and qualifications

Construction Superintendents use a variety of soft skills, technical abilities and industry knowledge to manage a construction project effectively, including:

  • Excellent communication abilities, including writing, speaking and active listening
  • Knowledge of construction budgeting best practices
  • Good planning skills, including design execution, resource allocation and contingencies
  • Understanding of construction equipment, including safe operating practices and signs of maintenance issues
  • In-depth understanding of local, state and federal construction regulations
  • Great problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Effective leadership abilities, like motivation, goal-setting and conflict management
  • Organizational skills, including time management, delegation, prioritization and multitasking

Construction Superintendent salary expectations

A Construction Superintendent makes an average of $90,446 per year. Salary may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.

Construction Superintendent education and training requirements

Construction Superintendent candidates may qualify for this role with only a high school diploma or GED and years of on-the-job training from previous experience and certifications. Many candidates have an associate or bachelor’s degree in construction management, architecture, engineering or another relevant discipline. Candidates may also have professional certifications, including Certified Construction Manager or Certified Professional Constructor. Safety and heavy machinery operations training and certification may also be common. 

Construction Superintendent experience requirements

As a supervisory position, Construction Superintendent candidates should have years of previous experience in the construction industry. Previous managerial experience on a construction team is also beneficial. Many candidates have worked in construction as Construction Workers, Designers, Engineers, Planners or in other capacities. They likely have earned promotions, additional and more complex responsibilities and leadership opportunities that enable them to apply for a Construction Superintendent role. Other experienced candidates may already have previous experience as a Construction Superintendent.

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Frequently asked questions about Construction Superintendents

 

What is the difference between a Construction Superintendent and a Project Manager?

Construction Superintendents are experienced Construction Workers who spend their time on-site guiding a construction team, while Project Managers handle the logistics and administrative aspects of a construction project. They have different skill sets, with Construction Superintendents having a background in construction and Project Managers having a history of working with client accounts. Project Managers work closely with the clients commissioning a construction project, usually in an office environment. They manage invoices, negotiate supplies contracts and prepare risk analysis. Construction Superintendents focus on implementing instructions at a job site, ensuring safety regulations are enforced and motivating their staff.

 

Who does a Construction Superintendent oversee?

Construction Superintendents oversee the entire staff on a construction site. They manage a range of construction roles including General Contractors, Construction Expeditors, Engineers, Carpenters and Electricians. They coordinate all of the activities of their direct employees and any additional contractors and consultants assisting on the project. Construction Superintendents are directly involved with managing their team, assigning each worker to new tasks each day and checking their work for quality and stability.

 

What are the qualities of a good Construction Superintendent?

Good Construction Superintendents are highly organized and coordinated. They are able to keep a running mental list of all tasks that need to be completed at any given moment. Successful Construction Superintendents are also clear communicators who can give specific, direct instructions on a job site according to detailed blueprints. Construction Superintendents also need to be physically capable of working on a construction site and helping their team carry heavy loads and prepare construction materials.

 

What are the daily duties of a Construction Superintendent?

On a typical day, Construction Superintendents spend long shifts on a construction site. They clock in each member of their team and begin delegating tasks to prepare the construction area. Throughout the day, Construction Superintendents give direct orders and clarify instructions for Construction Workers on their site. They manage time cards and performance reports for their entire team of Construction Workers, ensure that their team is safely operating heavy machinery according to OSHA standards and respond to any accidents or errors.

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