Job descriptions and industry overviews

Site manager: job description

25 Jan 2023, 13:39

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

Construction managers at work on a building site.

What does a site manager do? | Graduate salaries | Typical employers | Where to find jobs and internships | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Site managers are responsible for ensuring that a construction project is completed on time and within budget. Alternative job titles for site managers include construction manager, project manager and site agent.

Site managers work on construction sites and work often begins just before construction. More senior construction managers will take responsibility for an entire project and may be known as the project manager or project director. More junior site managers may take responsibility for only a part of a project (also known as a package).

Key tasks include:

  • supervising and overseeing the direction of the project (or a package), ensuring that the client’s specifications and requirements are met, reviewing progress and liaising with quantity surveyors to monitor costs
  • liaising with the client, other construction professionals and, sometimes, members of the public
  • coordinating and supervising construction workers
  • selecting tools and materials
  • making safety inspections and ensuring construction and site safety
  • checking and preparing site reports, designs and drawings
  • maintaining quality control procedures
  • finding ways to prevent problems from happening and to solve any that crop up
  • assessing and minimising risk
  • writing reports and keeping on top of paperwork
  • helping to negotiating contracts and securing permits and licences.

As construction managers work on site wherever that site is, be prepared to relocate or face a longer commute as and when required.

Read more about graduate site jobs and how to get them in our extended advice feature .

The salary of a graduate site manager

According to pay and compensation surveys, the salary for a graduate site manager tends to be upwards of £27,000. At smaller employers, however, it is typically lower at around £24,000.

Find out more about how much graduate and experienced site managers can earn in our salary round-up feature.

Typical employers of site managers

  • Construction companies (typically contractors)
  • House building and property developing companies
  • The public sector (a few vacancies)
  • Companies that operate on or own a lot of land, such as infrastructure companies and retailers (a few vacancies).

Take a look at the top ten most popular construction employers, as voted for by students and graduates.

Where to find construction jobs and internships

Graduate jobs and work experience placements are advertised on targetjobs , on the websites of individual construction companies, by careers services and via recruitment agencies. You can also find vacancies through the jobs websites of relevant professional bodies, such as the Chartered Institute of Building and Institution of Civil Engineers .

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a career as a site manager for both university graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in a construction-related subject, such as construction and project management or civil engineering. Some of the largest graduate employers require a 2.1, but many accept a 2.2 or don’t specify a grade.

Relevant experience can be beneficial to securing your graduate job. Some employers offer sponsorship, vacation work and 'year out' placements, which can provide valuable contacts and a useful insight into the profession. Most large companies advertise formal graduate schemes or individual graduate vacancies, but aspiring site managers can also send out speculative applications to smaller companies.

Most graduate site managers work towards gaining chartership with the Chartered Institute of Building, a professional qualification you gain on the job.

To find out about how you can get into this career via a school leaver route (eg an apprenticeship or school leaver training programme) see the construction and property sector of TARGETcareers , our website aimed at school leavers. You may find our construction management job role article particularly helpful.

Key skills for site managers

  • Good communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making ability
  • Commercial awareness
  • Ability to motivate others
  • Teamworking skills
  • Good knowledge of building methods and regulations.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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