From residential home sites to major commercial builds, civil construction supervisors oversee construction projects. Typically, civil construction supervisors have at least an associate degree, with many holding a bachelor’s degree in construction science, building science or construction engineering. Still a rarity at a construction site, women make up only six percent of construction supervisors and managers as of 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether male or female, civil construction supervisors have a variety of duties.
While most of your time is spent on the construction site, as a construction manager you will put in some hours in the office working on administrative tasks. Duties include working with the client to create a construction budget, putting together cost estimates for the project, and setting goals for completion. Depending on the client’s needs and the type of project, you’ll determine the best construction materials and methods for building. You’ll keep daily logs of construction activities, as well as maintain financial records of all aspects of the project. For large construction projects, civil construction supervisors typically oversee only one portion or phase of construction.
Client Relationship Duties
As manager, you’ll report back to the client on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, giving them updates on the progress of the project, including clearing any timeline changes and increases to the budget. At times, you’ll act as the go-between for the client and all the project contractors, assuring that everyone follows the contract and stays on time and on budget. Some clients give you full responsibility to choose and hire contractors, subcontractors and construction workers, while others want a say in who you hire for the project. Along with reporting to your client, you’ll also often report back to your own boss, giving her updates on each project.
Job Site Responsibilities
On site, you’ll collaborate with the project engineers, architects, HVAC techs, electricians and other contractors involved with the construction project. As your name suggests, you’ll offer direct supervision to the construction workers, assigning them jobs as needed, answering questions and troubleshooting any issues that come up. Problems you’ll take care of can include work delays, inclement weather, injuries and mistakes in construction. You’ll make sure that all the construction materials used, as well as the final product, are up to quality control standards.
Legal and Safety Tasks
As construction supervisor, you’ll take charge in ensuring the work site is safe, and that all the workers wear proper safety equipment and operate construction equipment safely. The federal government requires construction sites to follow certain rules, and many states and local municipalities set their own regulations outside federal rules. You’ll also have to secure any necessary permits and licenses for the project.
2016 Salary Information for Construction Managers
Construction managers earned a median annual salary of $89,300 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, construction managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $68,050, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $119,710, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 403,800 people were employed in the U.S. as construction managers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Construction Managers
- A Civil Engineer: Responsibilities of a Construction Supervisor
- Bright Hub Engineering: Civil Engineering Construction Supervisor
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Construction Managers
- Career Trend: Construction Managers
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.