Construction superintendents, sometimes called construction managers, are responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of large construction projects. Construction supervisors, who manage the crews, report to the construction manager. The construction superintendent may oversee the selection of a general contractor or various subcontractors. It is his or her job to keep a construction project on time and within budget. Projected costs are the reason a construction superintendent is involved in the planning process.
Professionals in this position may be responsible for ordering materials, making sure that proper equipment is on site, and that construction supervisors are following blueprint designs and building codes. On big projects like a major high rise or a public works project such as a sewer plant, construction superintendents may handle one of several components to the project. They must be able to track budgets, use critical path charts and deal with setbacks such as inclement weather.
Most people moving into the career today will need a bachelor's degree in construction science, building science or civil engineering. Prior experience in the construction field is a plus. The job requires familiarity with computer programs that manage inventory, schedules and personnel.
There were about 487,000 construction superintendents working in the U.S. in 2006. Over half were self employed, meaning that they ran businesses providing specialty construction services. Others worked for contractors or for architects.
The profession is expected to grow faster than the projected growth of jobs overall in the next decade. Sophistication of the job requirements will also grow, as energy efficiency becomes both a construction goal and a code issue, environmental protection remains a potent issue and construction materials increasingly become composite products.
10th Percentile $47,000
Median Salary $79,680
90th Percentile $145,920
Source: U.S. Department of Labor