what is a site manager?

As a site manager, you supervise the construction of a project from start to completion. The role involves working with other construction workers to ensure the project is completed on time and within the stipulated budget. You conduct regular inspections to check for safety issues and ensure the building matches the structural drawings.

Site managers are responsible for an entire site or parts of a project in larger schemes. When you work on a construction section, you report to the senior site manager and coordinate with other site managers to ensure work continues as expected.

what does a site manager do?

Before construction work commences, you prepare the site, hire personnel, and plan the work schedules. You supervise the installation of temporary offices for staff. During construction, you monitor progress on site, oversee materials delivery and use, conduct safety checks and resolve any problems arising on the site. You also update clients on the construction project's progress and ensure the contractors receive any project adjustments from the clients.

As a site manager, you mainly work in the construction industry. However, the projects differ since you can work on commercial, residential or industrial projects.

Would working as a site manager suit your decision-making and leadership skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a site manager role

site manager jobs

average salary of a site manager

According to National Careers Service, your average salary as a site manager ranges from £27,000 to £65,000 per year. When you are a trainee, the compensation package starts at £25,000 to £35,000 annually. As your skills improve and you gain experience, your earnings increase to £45,000 per year. Since your expertise improves with experience and educational qualifications, your compensation package goes up to £65,000 per year at the senior level. Chartered and senior site managers usually earn the highest salaries in the field.

how to increase the salary of a site manager

Salaries depend on your location, individual qualifications and level of responsibility. When you work in large cities like London, your earnings are higher than site managers in smaller towns. Most employers adjust the compensation package to match the cost of living. The high demand for senior site managers in cities also increases your salary prospects.

The employer you work for determines your earnings. Working for a large construction company raises your salary expectations since they have greater resources and can pay more than smaller companies. You also earn more when you take on additional responsibilities in the company.

smiling female, construction site in the background
smiling female, construction site in the background

types of site managers

The types of site managers vary depending on the construction projects they work on. Some include:

  • residential site managers: as a site manager, you supervise and monitor the construction of residential buildings. That means you plan the construction process, find raw materials and hire construction workers for the project. You ensure the architectural drawings are adhered to and conduct regular safety inspections.
  • commercial site managers: as a site manager, you oversee the construction of offices and industrial sites. Your job is to manage the workers and ensure the project meets the client's specifications. Commercial projects are large-scale, and you may be responsible for a small section of the entire project.



working as a site manager

Working as a site manager requires resilience and critical thinking to deal with any issues that occur on the construction site. Read on to find out site managers' daily activities, work schedules and job outlooks.


education and skills

Some of the routes for becoming a site manager include:

  • university degree: to become a site manager, complete an undergraduate degree, foundation degree or Higher National Diploma (HND). The course you pursue should be related to construction and approved by The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Some courses include building studies, construction engineering, construction site management or civil engineering.
  • apprenticeship: degree apprenticeship programmes in construction site management or design and construction management are also available. The apprenticeships require 4 to 5 GCSEs and take between three to four years.

Skills and competencies

In addition to knowledge of construction practices, you require transferrable skills to excel in your role. Some of the qualities of a site manager include the following:

  • communication skills: as a site manager, you work with various construction professionals, from general labourers and surveyors to designers. You also discuss budgets and construction plans with clients and rely on your communication skills to explain project details in simple language. Therefore, it is essential to communicate effectively to ensure the construction project proceeds as planned.
  • decision-making skills: as a site manager, your primary role is to deliver a construction project within the stipulated time and budget. The construction process involves making various decisions, from the best materials to the construction methods. Good decision-making skills help you weigh the pros and cons of a decision and determine the best plan.
  • problem-solving skills: construction projects can carry risks, and your problem-solving ability and critical thinking skills will be tested. Problem-solving skills help you find cost-effective and innovative solutions to problems.
  • commercial awareness: as a site manager, you ensure the construction project sticks to the budget, so industry knowledge and commercial awareness are important. Commercial awareness helps you develop ways to cut costs and optimise the project schedule.
smiling male, construction site in the background
smiling male, construction site in the background


FAQs about working as a site manager

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