Construction site managers are responsible for small sections of a construction project all the way through to management of entire development projects.
This role is diverse and not for everyone, but if you feel that you can take on the responsibility of a construction site manager, then look no further.
The team of expert training providers at SB Skills Solutions has created the only guide you’ll need to become a building site manager. Use this as your map to your future construction site manager job!
Below, we explore the role, earning potential, and day-to-day duties of a building site manager. We also explain which site management qualifications are necessary to obtain this position and the routes you can take to secure a construction site manager role.
What is a site manager?
A building site manager (also referred to as a construction site manager or site agent) is in charge of overseeing the day-to-day running of a construction site. Their role revolves around supervising the construction project as a whole, so they have the responsibility of ensuring every contractor is working safely and efficiently.
As well as liaising with contractors, they’ll also commonly work alongside architects and surveyors. A construction site manager helps the entire team stay on track, ensuring the building project is finished on time and within budget.
A building site manager will generally work in one of the five project groups; residential, commercial, industrial, environmental, or infrastructure. Your experience and area of interest in construction will often dictate which group you end up working in.
What does a site manager do?
Due to the supervisory nature of this position, the roles of a site manager are wide and varied. Depending on the size of the building project, these duties can range from ensuring the project stays on budget to ordering materials and liaising with clients.
It’s important to also note that a building site manager must be versatile as they will often be required to split their time between working on-site, working in an office, and working in a temporary office built on site. Frequently working in a variety of weathers (hot, cold, and wet!), they must be content wearing protective and high-visibility clothing, too.
While construction site managers tend to work the standard working week, they may be expected to work during weekends or evenings in order to meet deadlines, when necessary. Alternatively, the nature of some construction projects means the building work can only be undertaken at night or during public holidays.
As a building site manager, you may be required to:
- Supervise workers
- Hire subcontractors
- Monitor and report progress to staff
- Liaise with clients
- Purchase materials for the project
- Conduct safety inspections
- Carry out quality inspections
- Motivate the construction team
- Solve problems
- Prepare and create progress reports
- Analyse site reports, designs, and drawings
- Utilise specialist computer programmes
- Work in a variety of environments
- Liaise with the community and handle public demands
- Interpersonal skills
How much does a construction site manager earn?
The part you’ve all been looking for, so we will get it over with now. According to Check a Salary, a site manager in construction can earn anywhere between £37,500 to £74,880 per year!
With an average annual salary of £56,996 in the UK, there’s scope to earn a higher salary as a construction site manager if you move into more specialised roles or start your own construction-related business.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the exact salary for this position will naturally vary depending on the location, employer, and level of responsibility. You could also improve your earning potential and career options by gaining chartered status to help showcase your competency to prospective clients and future employers.
Construction manager qualifications in the UK
Wondering ‘what qualifications do I need to be a site manager’? As you might imagine, construction site managers need higher level qualifications than most site workers as they are responsible for everything on site.
If you already work within the construction industry, you may be able to become a construction site manager by completing some site manager training courses. Site manager qualifications include:
∙Level 6 Civil Engineering Site Management Degree
∙Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction or related disciplines
∙Higher National Diploma (HND) in Construction Management or related disciplines
∙Foundation Degree in Construction Management
∙Degree in Construction Management
∙Apprenticeship in Construction Site Manager
∙Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Site Manager
You may also need:
∙Confined Spaces (If it applies to the site)
∙Qualifications in the work being carried out
The SMSTS is a management course designed to teach managers or potential managers, the legislation involved in the building, construction, and civil engineering industries.
Construction Site Managers will also learn the importance of carrying out risk assessments, putting control measures in place, and adhering to health and safety regulations in order to create a culture of safety awareness.
The SMSTS course is a 5-day classroom-based learning experience that is valid for 5 years. This can be renewed with a short 2-day refresher.
NVQ Level 6 in Construction Site Management
The NVQ Level 6 in Construction Site Management is one of the highest levels available and is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
Taking anywhere between 4 weeks to 12 months to complete (depending on the applicant’s availability, motivation, and desire to fast track the course), this course is an in-depth assessment of your competency at construction site management. This is one of the ultimate NVQs in the construction industry with very few above it.
Not only does this NVQ in construction site management prove you are a competent site manager, you are then able to apply for your Black CSCS managers card which can be used to access construction sites and work as a manager.
How to become a construction manager
Getting a job as a construction site manager may seem daunting, but with the right skills, experience, and qualifications (which we can equip you with), you’ll be there in no time. There are a few routes that you can take to become a construction site manager, the first route is the apprenticeship route.
This may sound like starting at the bottom, but it can be a faster route into site management in construction than others.
An apprenticeship is open to all individuals over the age of 16. These opportunities provide applicants with employment (at least 30 hours a week), while allowing them to split their time between gaining this work experience and obtaining education from either a college or training provider.
You can either apply for an apprenticeship in construction site management or design and construction management. They often take between three and four years to complete, so it’s worth noting they still require significant commitment.
Through the apprenticeship route, you can start at any point you want, depending on your grades. If you have five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), you can start at the Level 2.
However, if you have A-levels, it’s possible to start at the manager apprenticeship. This means that you will be on a fast track to management with all of your qualifications included.
The flexibility of this route and the opportunity it presents to young people (in terms of allowing them to start earning money from a young age) can be incredibly influential for teenagers looking to kickstart their career in construction.
The university route is also an option if you want to become a building site manager as it will teach you everything you need to know about construction site management. Each university course will have specific entry requirements, with the duration of study often being between three and four years.
Depending on your A-level results, level 3 diploma qualifications, or your life experience if you’re applying as a mature student, you will have the choice of taking a foundation degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND), or an undergraduate degree accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
Suitable subjects of study for one of these construction-related university degrees include building studies, estimating, and surveying, alongside construction, and civil engineering.
The SMSTS management course is also available to those with a bachelor’s degree. It explains the importance of risk assessments, control measures, and health and safety regulations to provide site managers with a comprehensive overview of construction legislation. Valid for five years, this course takes roughly six months to complete.
The only downside to this route is that you won’t be able to apply for the Black CSCS card. However, you can apply for the academically qualified card which is also a very prestigious card.
If you’d rather take a more traditional route, you may decide to find a job in a relevant trade (such as an estimator, building technician, surveyor, or site supervisor). From there, you can take courses that will upskill you and work your way up to management.
This could be a lengthy process, but chances are if you’re reading this, you’re almost there and looking to progress. From this point, you should undertake your SMSTS course and look to achieve your Black CSCS card.
If you want to increase your chances of obtaining either employment or professional experience within the construction industry, with a view to becoming a building site manager, you may want to consider expanding upon your current skillset.
Some additional skills that could help you to achieve your goal of becoming a construction site manager include:
∙Understanding of construction
∙Excellent verbal communication skills
∙Strong desire to take initiative
∙Computer literacy and the ability to use relevant software
What are the career prospects of a construction site manager?
In terms of career progression, it’s common for building site managers to become contract managers or project consultants, or to specialise in a certain area of construction such as building inspection or estimation. Becoming chartered through the CIOB is often the first step into building on your professional prospects as it’ll provide you with more career options.
Construction site manager courses at SB Skills Solutions
If you’d like to explore the more traditional route of finding a job in trade and then taking a construction site manager course, contact SB Skills Solutions today.
With the Construction Site Management NVQ Level 6 qualification under your belt, you can increase your earning potential, secure a sought-after building site manager position, and work on your construction skills, competence, experience, and knowledge.
Guided by the experienced NVQ assessors at SB Skills Solutions (every assessor holds the Level 6 Construction Site manager NVQ, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector), or Assessor Award with a minimum of ten years of relevant experience), we make obtaining this qualification straightforward.
With the support of our qualified assessors, you can achieve all the necessary qualifications to be a site manager. To learn more about the course, its contents, or our prices, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
You can also call us on 01695 558420 or send us your enquiry in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we’ve received your enquiry, you can rest assured that a member of our team will be in touch soon to find out more about your site manager training requirements.