With over 700 construction related occupations available the industry certainly has plenty of job roles to choose from.
Here we will detail the popular site based construction role, the Construction Manager or Site Manager, noting what the job involves, the salary opportunities and what you need to pursue the occupation.
Working as a Construction Manager: The Training
There are a variety of ways to establish a career in site management. Essentially you will need lots of experience. Increasingly employers are also valuing candidates qualifications when considering individuals for site management roles.
Larger construction companies and contractors have structured training programmes available; these normally involve a candidate gaining an entry level position in the company and then gradually acquiring experience in numerous construction related areas such as health and safety, planning, assisting site engineers, supervising subcontractors and training. With increased experience the candidate will be given greater responsibility and managerial duties. The company may also fund any training required so the candidate can obtain a recognised qualification such as an NVQ, HNC/HND, BSc Honours Degree or CIOB Diploma.
Alternatively the skills required for site management can ge gained by attending a full time training course at a college or university. There are BTEC HND/HNC qualifications and Undergraduate degrees available in project management and construction management. Entry requirements for these courses vary but essentially colleges and universities are looking for good A level qualifications (or equivalent qualifications) in mathematics, science and IT.
When you have gained your qualifications you may be eligible for a site manager position or a trainee or assistant manager role. However practical experience is also very important in construction so try to gain some on the job experience whilst you are training.
Building companies, construction companies, large contractors and specialist sub-contractors usually employ Site and Construction Managers. Additionally there are construction management opportunities in some areas of the UK government as well as utility companies and highways related industries. With the right experience and qualifications candidates can progress to consultancy and contract management. And with specific training in education there are opportunities in teaching and lecturing.
In terms of the employability of a qualified site manger, there are less opportunities than in other construction roles, such as engineering or scaffolding, simply because there are fewer managerial roles out there. However each site needs a manager so as the construction industry grows there will be increasing opportunities on the horizon.
Construction Managers have a great earning potential and their salary can vary from £27k per annum to £45k per annum depending upon their experience, skill level and qualifications. Senior Managers can earn upwards of £70k per annum.
A site manager or construction manager is a challenging occupation, so be prepared to work hard and reap the rewards.
The key duties of a site/construction manager are to supervise and direct site operations and ensure the work on site is carried out safely and competently. They are also accountable for ensuring the workforce is qualified, carded and competent. In addition, they are responsible for the project coming in on time and on budget.
On a large contract the site manager may be responsible for a particular section and may report to a senior site manager or project manager; but on a smaller contract the site manager may be responsible for the supervision of the entire job.
Typical duties include: discussing issues and plans with architects, surveyors and buyers before the contract begins, planning the schedule of works, overseeing the installation of temporary on-site offices and facilities, taking delivery of materials, ensuring all permits are present, correct and valid, working closely with the site workforce, liaising with and supervising sub-contractors, monitoring the site progress, meeting building regulations and legal requirement and reporting regularly to the leading contractor, other departments and the client.
The hours can be 40+ a week depending upon the contract and a site manager may be required to supervise night shifts or work that is undertaken at weekends.
As a site manager you can apply for a CSCS card, which will allow you access to over 80% of UK construction sites. Site managers are eligible for several types of CSCS card depending upon their experience and qualifications.
The cards a site manager could be eligible for include the Graduate Red CSCS Card, the Gold CSCS Card or the Management Black CSCS Card. Which ever card you are eligible for you will be required to pass a Health, Safety & Environment test before the card is issued. Gold Supervisory card applicants will sit the supervisor level Health, Safety & Environment test, Black Manager card applicants will sit the Managerial and Professional (MAP) Health, Safety & Environment test.