Career Development

What Does a Construction Supervisor Do?

Find out what a construction supervisor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a construction supervisor.

Construction supervisors are responsible for overseeing all aspects of construction projects. They ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget, monitor the safety of workers and equipment, and coordinate communication between various parties involved in the project (such as contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, etc.).

Construction Supervisor Job Duties

A construction supervisor typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Coordinating work activities with project managers and architects, as well as subcontractors and suppliers
  • Monitoring and managing subcontractor performance and adherence to safety regulations
  • Monitoring project milestones and schedules to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget constraints
  • Estimating costs for labor and materials needed for construction projects
  • Ensuring that all workers follow safety regulations at all times
  • Evaluating employee performance and disciplining or terminating employees when necessary
  • Ensuring that all construction projects are conducted in accordance with applicable codes and regulations
  • Overseeing contractors’ work on projects to ensure that it meets all relevant standards
  • Managing construction projects from start to finish, including planning, managing, and overseeing all aspects of the project

Construction Supervisor Salary & Outlook

The salary of a construction supervisor can vary depending on their level of experience, the size of the project they are supervising, and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of construction supervisors is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need to build and repair roads, bridges, and other infrastructure across the country. In addition, demand for new power plants, pipelines, and other types of infrastructure projects will continue to support employment growth for construction supervisors.

Construction Supervisor Job Requirements

A construction supervisor typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Construction supervisors are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in construction management, civil engineering, construction engineering, architecture or a related field. These programs teach students about construction methods, materials, tools and equipment.

Training & Experience: Many construction supervisors begin their careers as construction workers or laborers. They may also have experience in a related role, such as a project engineer or project manager. On-the-job training for a construction supervisor will include learning about the company’s specific policies and procedures. They will also learn about the company’s computer systems and software.

Certifications & Licenses: Though not always required, construction supervisors can earn certifications to show their dedication to the industry and further their knowledge.

Construction Supervisor Skills

Construction supervisors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Construction supervisors must be able to communicate with their team and other stakeholders. You may be responsible for creating and sending emails, making phone calls and holding in-person meetings. You may also be responsible for communicating with the general contractor and other outside parties. Effective communication is an essential skill for a construction supervisor.

Leadership: Construction supervisors often have to lead their team of subcontractors and workers. You can use your leadership skills to direct your team to complete tasks on time and to ensure the quality of the work. You can also use leadership skills to motivate your team and to ensure they feel valued.

Organization: Construction supervisors often have to manage many tasks at once, so it’s important for them to have strong organizational skills. You may be responsible for managing a team of subcontractors, keeping track of budgets and ensuring that all building materials are delivered on time. Being able to manage your time and tasks effectively can help you be more productive and efficient.

Problem-solving: Construction supervisors often need to solve problems and make decisions quickly. They may need to make decisions about which materials to use, how to complete a task or how to resolve a conflict between team members. Being able to solve problems quickly and effectively can help you make the right decisions and keep your project on track.

Project management: Construction supervisors often have experience in project management, which can help them oversee the many tasks of a construction project. They may use their project management skills to create a schedule for the project, assign tasks to different teams and monitor the project’s budget. Having these skills can help you be more effective in your role as a construction supervisor.

Construction Supervisor Work Environment

Construction supervisors typically work full time, and they may work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines. They may work evenings and weekends, and their work hours may vary depending on the project. Construction supervisors typically work outdoors, and they may be exposed to inclement weather conditions. They may be required to wear personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots. Construction supervisors may be exposed to noise and dust, and they may be required to work in confined spaces. They may be required to lift heavy objects, and they may be exposed to hazards, such as electrical shocks, falls, and chemical spills.

Construction Supervisor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how construction supervisors work. Construction supervisors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

The construction industry is evolving rapidly, and the need for more technical skills is becoming increasingly important. This means that construction supervisors will need to be able to manage projects that require a greater level of technical expertise.

As the construction industry becomes more complex, supervisors will need to be able to manage projects that require a high level of technical knowledge. This includes understanding how to use different types of equipment and software, as well as being able to communicate effectively with other professionals in the field.

A Greater Focus on Safety

The construction industry has always been focused on safety, but recent years have seen an increased focus on this area. This is due to the fact that there have been a number of high-profile accidents in the industry, which have led to increased scrutiny from regulators and the public.

As a result, construction supervisors will need to focus on ensuring that their crews are safe and healthy. This may include implementing new safety procedures or training employees on how to avoid hazards.

More Collaboration Between Construction Professionals

The construction industry is changing rapidly, and one of the most significant changes is the increasing collaboration between construction professionals.

This trend is being driven by the need for faster and more efficient construction projects. By working together, construction professionals can share ideas and resources, which can help them get things done quicker and more efficiently.

Construction supervisors can take advantage of this trend by developing strong relationships with other professionals in the industry. This will allow them to collaborate on projects and share information that can help everyone work better together.

How to Become a Construction Supervisor

Construction supervisors have a lot of opportunities for growth in their career. They can move up the ranks to become a project manager, superintendent, or general contractor. They can also specialize in a particular area of construction, such as carpentry, masonry, or electrical work.

To advance their careers, construction supervisors should develop strong communication and leadership skills. They should also be familiar with all aspects of construction, including planning, scheduling, safety, and materials.

Advancement Prospects

Construction supervisors typically start out as construction workers. With experience, they may be promoted to construction foreman or superintendent. Some may eventually become general contractors, starting their own construction businesses.

Many construction supervisors have a high school diploma and learn their trade through on-the-job training. Some learn through an apprenticeship or other training program. Some states have certification programs for construction supervisors.

Construction Supervisor Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re committed to building the best structures in the area, and that all starts with our construction supervisors. We’re currently looking for a construction supervisor with experience in both residential and commercial construction. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of the construction process, from start to finish. They will be able to effectively communicate with and manage a team of construction workers. Additionally, they will have a keen eye for detail and be able to spot potential problems before they become costly mistakes.

As a construction supervisor at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for overseeing the construction of our buildings. This will include ensuring that the construction workers have the materials and resources they need, that they are following the construction plans, and that the quality of the work meets our high standards. You will also be responsible for keeping the construction site safe and clean.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Schedule and coordinate all construction activities, including subcontractors, material deliveries, and equipment rentals
  • Maintain a clean and safe job site by enforcing all safety regulations
  • Inspect work completed by subcontractors to ensure it meets the project specifications and quality standards
  • Prepare progress reports and submit them to the project manager on a regular basis
  • Investigate and resolve any complaints or concerns raised by employees, customers, or other stakeholders
  • Monitor project budget and track all expenditures
  • Negotiate with subcontractors to get the best possible rates
  • Order materials and supplies as needed to keep the construction project on schedule
  • Resolve conflicts that may arise between different teams or individuals working on the construction project
  • Assist in the development of the construction schedule and project timeline
  • Ensure that all building codes and zoning regulations are being followed
  • Coordinate with the project manager and other stakeholders to develop construction plans and blueprints

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 5+ years experience in construction, with at least 2 years in a supervisory role
  • Proven leadership and project management skills
  • Working knowledge of construction methods and safety standards
  • Ability to read and interpret blueprints and other technical drawings
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher in construction management or related field
  • 10+ years experience in construction, with at least 5 years in a supervisory role
  • OSHA 30-hour certification
  • First Aid/CPR certification
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office and project management software


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