Site manager: job description

Site manager: job description

Site managers are responsible for supervising construction sites and running construction projects.
Site managers are also known as site agents, contracts managers, construction managers and building managers.

What does a site manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills | Useful links | Find jobs and courses

They are employed to prepare sites prior to the commencement of construction work (to set out the site and organise facilities), to plan projects and ensure that they meet agreed specifications, budgets and timescales and to oversee building work.

Other responsibilities include:

  • liaising with clients and reporting progress, professional staff (such as architects and surveyors) and the public
  • supervising contracted staff
  • meeting subcontractors
  • making safety inspections and ensuring construction and site safety
  • checking and preparing site reports, designs and drawings
  • maintaining quality control procedures
  • motivating the workforce
  • problem solving
  • using specialist construction management computer applications

Typical employers of site managers

  • Civil engineering companies
  • Building companies
  • Construction companies and contractors

A small number also work for public sector organisations.

Vacancies are advertised online, by careers services and recruitment agencies, in national newspapers and professional journals such as TARGETjobs Construction, Building Engineer Journal, Construction News, Structural Engineer and New Civil Engineer as well as their online equivalents. A flexible attitude is important as contracts are often short-term and relocation may be required.

Qualifications and training required

To qualify, you'll need an appropriate degree in construction/building management, building engineering/studies, construction engineering management or civil/structural engineering.

To gain chartered status the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) set criteria must also be met: this normally necessitates undertaking a period of vocational training with an approved employer.

Relevant experience can be beneficial, although not essential. Some employers offer sponsorship, vacation work and 'year out' placements which can provide valuable contacts and a useful insight into the profession. Speculative applications made early in the academic year are advisable, particularly to smaller employers.

Key skills for site managers

  • Good communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Ability to motivate others
  • Teamworking skills