How to become construction superintendent

Written by LetsBuild

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The Process for Becoming a Construction Superintendent

A construction superintendent is also known as a construction manager, and their jobs are to supervise the construction of residential homes, commercial buildings, roads, schools, bridges, hospitals, and other structures.  As they are doing that, they need to keep track of their employees, while keeping everything and everyone on schedule and on budget.
They are responsible for reading blueprints, preparing data sheets, preparing reports, logging the hours of the workers, and even placing orders for materials and receiving them.
They must also communicate with the owners of the building, the owner of the construction company, and the owners of the businesses for the subcontractors.  Each one of these people needs to be briefed on issues, problems, and solutions on a regular basis.
That is a lot of work for one person, which is why anyone who is considering becoming a construction superintendent needs to be in the business for a while.  This is not a job for someone fresh out of school or a person who has never set foot on a construction site before.
In fact, a construction superintendent needs several years of experience throughout the industry before they can even be considered this position.  This can be good though because construction superintendents are often older, which means that they do not mind working the extra hours that may be required of them.
The first step to becoming a construction superintendent involves choosing a route for education.  While a high school diploma used to get a person to this position, along with lots of hands-on experience, it is no longer enough.  Nowadays, qualified candidates will need a Bachelor’s Degree in either building science, civil engineering, construction management, or construction science is necessary.  Each class in those fields concentrate on design, contract administration, cost estimating, construction methods, building codes, and many other construction topics.
Most students who are serious about their careers and their future will consider an internship while they are going to school.  This will allow them to advance in the field even sooner because they will be gaining experience and learning from a professional.
Once a person graduates with their desired degree, it will be time to begin their work in the field.  At this point, there will not be many internship options, but that doesn’t mean that someone cannot start at the bottom and work their way up.  In fact, this is sometimes the best way to gain the experience needed for this type of position.

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An entry-level construction job can lead to assistants to the manager jobs and eventually management positions while training is being continuously provided.
Of course, a degree is not going to be everything that a person needs to become a construction superintendent.  Those who want to be successful will also want to consider getting certified in their field.  There are a few certificates available through different accreditations, and a person can choose to do one of them or a few of them.  Two of the most popular include certificates through the American Institute of Constructors and the Construction Management Association of America.
The learning never stops at construction sites, as everything is continuously changing.  Once a person has their Bachelor’s Degree, they may decide that they need their Master’s before they are ready to apply for the position.  A few may even consider going back to school to get a completely different degree, so that they can stand out from the rest of the competition.  There are also plenty of workshops, conventions, and other types of classes that people can take to further their learning within the field.
Once a person has all their degrees, continues to further their education, becomes certified, and worked their way up in the field, they will begin to feel ready for the construction superintendent position.  They will need at least three years of experience for this position, although at least ten years is normally required.
Each prospective construction superintendent must also have the following skills in order to be considered:

  • Excellent communication skills – These are required, because a construction superintendent spends most of the day communicating with people in person, via email, and over the phone.
  • Prepared to Work Hard – Working hard in all areas is necessary for this position. This may require extra hours, additional education, and being prepared for anything and everything that is presented.
  • Organized – Construction superintendents need to know where everything is at all times, which is why they need to be super organized. They cannot lose any documentation, even for a minute, or the entire project could end up in danger.
  • Be a Leader – Quite a bit of this position is leading, so the best candidate will have extraordinary leadership skills.

As soon as a person has everything that is listed above, they will be ready to apply for the construction superintendent position.  It will take some time, but the rewarding part will be a wonderful position.