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Plant manager

Plant managers are responsible for all of the heavy machinery used on a construction site. They are responsible for creating reports and keeping records documenting all operations on the site.

Average salary*

£20000

-

£50000

Typical hours per week

41 - 43

How to become a plant manager

There are several routes to becoming a plant manager. You could complete a university or college course, an apprenticeship, or apply to an employer directly if you have some experience.  

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

University

To help you on your journey to becoming a plant manager you could complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as:

  • Construction management
  • Construction project management.

You’ll usually need 2 - 3 A levels or equivalent.

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a university course

> Funding advice 

College/training provider

You could complete a training course through a local college to help you gain the skills needed to become a plant manager. Relevant subjects could include:

  • Level 4 Construction Contracting Operations
  • Level 5 Construction Senior Management. 

You’ll need: 

  • 4 - 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent
  • 2 - 3 A levels, or equivalent. 

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

You could complete an apprenticeship to become a plant operator or plant mechanic, and then progress to become a plant manager as you gain more experience. 

You might need GCSEs (including English and maths) or equivalent, to do an apprenticeship, but not all employers ask for formal qualifications.

For intermediate or advanced apprenticeships, you may need up to 5 GCSEs, (including English and maths) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

If you have extensive experience as a plant operator and good knowledge of the industry, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain onsite experience as a plant manager. You might start out as an assistant to an experienced plant manager and progress as your abilities improve.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a plant manager. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

> Find out more about work experience

Skills 

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a plant manager include: 

  • Good understanding of maths 
  • Able to organise your time and workload
  • Leadership skills
  • Business management skills
  • Ability to use your initiative
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.

What does a plant manager do?

  • Creating and following budgets and preparing profit and loss projections
  • Creating reports and spreadsheets using computer software
  • Keeping records of all owned or rented machinery
  • Ensuring machinery is maintained and serviced
  • Managing all the official plant paperwork
  • Dealing with hire companies
  • Negotiating rental agreements
  • Working on projects all over the world, overseeing the important business of buying, hiring or transporting (often huge) pieces of equipment according to strict rules and regulations
  • Supervising and motivating staff. He or she is part of the project management team and also reports to head office
  • Seeing that all machinery is checked over in accordance with health and safety legislation
  • Mobilizing and demobilizing at the beginning and end of a project, managing the spare-part store, and recruiting and training employees

How much could you earn as a plant manager?

The expected salary for a plant manager varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained plant managers can earn £20,000 - £30,000
  • Trained plant managers with some experience can earn £30,000 - £40,000
  • Senior plant managers can earn £40,000 - £50,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest plant manager vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a plant manager, you could progress to become a senior manager and earn a higher salary. 

Alternatively, with the correct skills and qualifications, you could move into a role as a site or facilities manager.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Plant mechanic Ensure all machinery is maintained, carry out repairs & inspect construction equ...
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  • Current role Plant manager Plant managers are in charge of all the heavy machinery (plant) used on construc...
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  • Current role Instructor / assessor / tutor Further Education (FE) instructors, assessors and tutors teach construction skil...
    Read more
  • Current role Senior manager Senior managers and heads of department are responsible for leading teams of peo...
    Read more
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