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Senior managers and heads of department are responsible for leading teams of people working on all kinds of construction projects. As the boss, he or she comes up with strategies for getting jobs done efficiently, then makes sure people follow them.

Average salaries are in the region of £60,000.00 to £100,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Senior managers and heads of department are responsible for leading teams of people working on all kinds of construction projects. As the boss, he or she comes up with strategies for getting jobs done efficiently, then makes sure people follow them.

The career comes with a range of responsibilities that makes every day challenging and interesting. A manager works to keep construction or admin projects on track, and the people working on them safe and effective.

What they do

Typical duties include:

  • Deciding on operational plans for turning ‘big picture’ strategies into working plans
  • Identifying what resources will be needed and how the team will work towards business goals
  • Setting budgets
  • Manage team finances efficiently
  • Ensuring the health and safety rules are followed
  • Handling grievance procedures for staff
  • Ensuring that quality assurance and legal requirements are met 

A senior manager or head of department is an ambassador for his or her organisation and is expected to help build or maintain its good reputation locally, nationally and even internationally. They also have a crucial role in identifying opportunities and bringing in new business.


  • Trained with experience Senior Managers can earn in the region of £45,000 - £80,000
  • Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility
  • Salaries and career options improve with Chartered status


Learn more about construction careers – and some of the misconceptions surrounding them – with our Mythbusters.

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Case Study

Alison Crofton is Technical Director with national house builder Barratt Developments.

How did you get started?

I applied for a graduate training scheme with another national house builder, where I was lucky enough to work in all departments within the company. After the 12 months of training I decided my skills lay within the technical department and started as an Assistant Technical Co-ordinator. I worked my way up to the position I hold now as Technical Director.

I chose to work within the technical department because they deal with so many interesting issues and challenges. I could work within an office and site environment. I also thought it provided me with great knowledge to allow the flexibility to change career paths and roles in the future.

What do you do?

The great thing about my job is no day is the same as another. One day I can be working on a sewer design, the next looking at a badger set, or chasing a party wall agreement (where two people/neighbours share the same wall) prior to a start on site.

What do you like about the job?

I get to work with so many different and interesting people and characters. These are people working in site teams, offices, housing associations and utility companies and include engineers, architects, planners and lawyers to name only a few! I find the job continually challenging and rewarding and not a lot of people can say that about their job.

What are you proud of?

The team I work in and have helped to build, along with the communities and developments I’ve helped to create. I also take pride in the work I do with Novus which is a scheme run by the Chartered Institute of Building to encourage as many young people into the industry as possible.

Where to next?

Becoming a Managing Director of a division within my company and continuing with my commitments to the Chartered Institute of Building scheme to encourage young people to choose a career in construction.

Advice for career-hunters?

Do not hesitate, join this fantastic industry today!

For further information about Novus see the Chartered Institute of Building website  

Qualifications & Training

To become a senior manager or head of department you will need to demonstrate significant experience in managing people, budgets and strategy. You should be able to demonstrate experience of a range of large projects and teams as well as building and maintaining partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders. 

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

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted

Career trends and forecasts

1,850 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 1,850 senior, executive, and business process managers (which includes ) to meet demand every year from 2016 until 2020, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of this demand is in the South West followed by Greater London. Then a  fairly even split of demand between Yorkshire and Humber, East of England, Scotland and Wales.

Search other careers

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

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