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Plant managers are in charge of all the heavy machinery (plant) used on construction sites.

Average salaries are in the region of £19,000.00 to £45,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Plant managers are in charge of all the heavy machinery (plant) used on construction sites.

What they do

They work 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.

A plant manager supervises and motivates staff. He or she is part of the project management team and also reports to head office.

Typical duties include:

  • 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

Safety is an important part of working with machinery such as cranes, diggers and bulldozers. The plant manager sees that all machinery is checked over in accordance with health and safety legislation.

The job also involves mobilizing and demobilizing at the beginning and end of a project, managing the spare-part store, and recruiting and training employees.


  • Newly trained Plant Managers can earn in the region of £20,000 - £30,000
  • Trained with experience Plant Managers can earn in the region of £30,000 - £40,000
  • Senior Plant Managers can earn in the region of £40,000 - £50,000
  • Salaries and career options improve with Chartered status

Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. 


Head to the Careers Explorer A-Z to get more information on construction roles available.

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Qualifications & Training

You must have a great deal of experience in plant (heavy construction machinery) and the following qualifications are useful to have: 

  • NVQ Level 4 Construction Contracting Operations
  • NVQ Level 5 Construction Senior Management
  • BSc (Hons) Construction Management

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy? 

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 



Total Jobs

Career trends and forecasts

2460 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 2460 Construction Plant Operatives (which includes Plant Managers), every year for the period 2017 - 2021.  The majority of this demand will be in the South West, followed by a fairly even spread across West Midlands and Northern Ireland.

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Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

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