How To Become A Construction Superintendent

Looking to start a career in construction? See what it takes to become a superintendent and how to land the job with our free interview packet!


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How To Become A Construction Superintendent

Becoming a construction superintendent can be an excellent way to create a rewarding career in construction. Before getting started, however, it can be important to understand the potential paths forward to becoming a construction superintendent. This position will likely require some training, education, and experience.

Naturally, interested individuals might wonder exactly what education, training and experience they’ll need in order to fill this important role. If you’re wondering how to become a superintendent, read on. We’ll cover how to become a construction superintendent, what the educational requirements may be, how much experience you may seek, and how much training you might need. If you’re wondering how long it takes to become a construction superintendent, the answer may depend on your individual circumstances. For example, often, a construction superintendent job might require that you hold a bachelor’s degree in construction or a related field. So, if you don’t already have one, you may need to add an extra four years to your journey.

What’s more, construction superintendent positions may require some important training, and you may train under a more experienced superintendent for a while. You’ll also likely need some level of experience in construction–particularly in the event that you do not hold a bachelor’s degree. But–even if you do have one, you may need some experience in construction.

There are also certifications available–but before looking for a construction superintendent certification online, be aware that there is no one commission or body that oversees all construction superintendent certifications nationally, nor is there a standard set of qualifications required to be a construction superintendent. Rather, different organizations and different states may all have their own requirements. As such, it can be important to learn more about necessary qualifications in your local area or required by employers for whom you might like to work. Still, certifications can be an excellent way to demonstrate your skills and knowledge and find employers.

There are several well-known and highly reputable organizations that help individuals demonstrate their skills and knowledge through certifications. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, offers a Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate Program for Construction. THE CMAA, or Construction Management Association of America, offers a construction manager certification that helps individuals become Certified Construction Managers.

The bottom line is that while the path to becoming a construction superintendent may look different between different individuals, there are some common steps you’ll likely need to take, such as ensuring that you meet relevant educational requirements, have a sufficient level of training, and have some relevant experience. While different roles may require varying qualifications, education, training, and experience will likely be important considerations as you move forward.

Construction Superintendent Salary

The construction superintendent career path can be highly rewarding for individuals who are passionate about safe and efficient construction. As such, it can be a promising career. Still, you may be wondering what a construction superintendent’s salary looks like. There’s a persistent myth that construction salaries are low, but this is certainly not necessarily always, or even often the case. As with any job, the salaries for construction superintendents can vary greatly depending on a wide range of factors, such as experience level, the organization in question, what geographic area one is in, and more.

Still, it can be helpful to look at some relevant statistics so that we can get a better understanding of what a typical salary might look like, as well as where salaries range. The first thing to understand is the role of a construction superintendent.

When it comes to comparing the roles of a construction superintendent vs project manager, it’s important to remember that these roles serve similar yet distinct purposes. While both may be considered roles in “construction management,” a project manager will very likely oversee the entire project from a holistic perspective from start to finish–discussing plans with clients, ideating project goals, and more, while a construction superintendent may focus, instead on operations, day to day–working with construction teams and helping ensure that projects are carried out safely, efficiently, and successfully.

That distinction can be quite important when looking at salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers some important information about construction manager salaries. They explain that in May of 2021, the median annual wage for construction managers was $98,890. Glassdoor estimates that construction superintendent salaries may be a little over $100 thousand annually. Suffice it to say; construction superintendents may be able to enjoy a very comfortable salary as well as a rewarding career. While salaries can vary greatly, construction superintendent jobs may often be on the higher side, making this a potentially very attractive career choice.

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Construction Superintendent Job Description

We’ve discussed how construction superintendents’ roles can differ a little bit from those of construction project managers. But what exactly might a construction superintendent job description look like? Construction superintendents tend to work on the operation side of things, making sure that tasks are completed–where the rubber hits the road, so to speak. 

While a project manager might discuss ideas and projects with clients, construction superintendents might be on the jobsite each day, working alongside construction crews and overseeing efforts on the ground to ensure that the client’s vision is successfully realized.

While a project manager might be responsible for working with the client to develop a great idea and discuss costs and considerations, a construction superintendent might be responsible for ensuring that the project is actually carried out successfully and efficiently.

With that in mind, it perhaps isn’t surprising that construction superintendent training topics might include things such as leadership, safety on jobsites, cost management, and more.

Construction superintendent certification can help us better understand some of the types of knowledge it can be hopeful for construction superintendents and what kinds of duties they may fulfill in their work based on that knowledge. Construction superintendent classes designed to help individuals achieve these certifications might cover topics that help construction superintendents be as effective as possible in their role in operations. These might be things like managing safety compliance, managing costs, managing workers, and more.

Construction Superintendent Jobs

If you’re wondering about a career in construction as a construction superintendent, you’re probably wondering how common construction superintendent jobs really are. You may also be wondering about positions close to your geographical area, specifically or in areas where you might like to live.

The good news is that construction is an essential part of society, and all around the country, and even the globe, construction is carried out every day. As construction is so important, and construction superintendents carry out such an important and essential role in construction, there are many areas where construction superintendents are hired. To land those roles, be sure to prepare yourself for the interview by reviewing common pre-requisites and common interview questions.

Whether you’re looking for potential construction superintendent jobs NJ, construction superintendent jobs NYC, or even construction superintendent jobs SF, chances are there is a need for construction management professionals such as construction superintendents.

While this isn’t specific only to construction superintendents, the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers some information about construction managers, such as a positive outlook, with an expected 8% growth between 2021 and 2031–which is faster than median job growth across occupations. This may be due to a range of factors, including potential population growth necessitating additional construction in the coming years and expansion of business.

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We Think You Have What It Takes To Be A Superintendent… Do You?

As an integral piece of the construction industry,  superintendents are needed by top general contractors nationwide. NCW partners with top ENR contractors to help fill their open roles. Thinking about making the next jump in your career? Talk to the NCW team today!

Construction Superintendent Training

We’ve explored a lot about being a construction superintendent–some of the requirements you may need to fulfill in order to make this your career, how construction superintendents differ from project managers, what construction superintendent salaries might look like, what exactly construction superintendents are expected to do in their core job responsibilities, the expected outlook for construction management jobs, and even a little bit about some of the training that construction superintendents might utilize. If you’re interested in a career as a construction superintendent, you’re likely wondering about construction superintendent training. The truth is, there is a lot of training available–and depending on what your goals and ambition are, some of it may be of more use to you. As we discussed, training can vary not only between organizations that employ construction superintendents but between various certifications that construction superintendents might seek in order to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. While there may be no single best construction superintendent training manual, for example, there are many training materials available to aspiring construction superintendents.

There are also certifications with which individuals can demonstrate their skills and knowledge related to construction management. By taking a construction superintendent test, it may be possible to receive certification. In-person and online construction superintendent training can help individuals prepare for tests like these. Some of the certifications programs include:

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