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Site managers run the workforce on a building site.
Average salaries are in the region of £34,000.00 to £55,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer
Site managers in the construction industry (often referred to as construction managers, site agents or building managers), are responsible for day to day running of a construction project.
They are employed to prepare sites prior to the start of construction work (to set out the site and organise facilities), to plan projects and ensure that they meet agreed specifications, budgets and timescales and to oversee building work.
Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.
Chris Bickerstaff is a site manager with ISG Construction, which specialises in small to medium housing or retail developments.
My daily job involves checking the site for security, checking the perimeter, taking note of any hazards and assessing the required work for the day. I then check on workmanship. Quality and safety is our number one priority. I check the development to make sure it’s 'on programme’ on a daily basis.
From a very early age I was building stuff with Lego and that hobby stayed with me. Later I was making small woodwork projects. I followed an academic route into construction. After completing my A-levels I went to university, where I studied Construction Management. I then went to Sheffield Construction as a graduate trainee. I spent three years working in different departments, including quantity surveying and the design team, giving me a basic feel for the various fields of working in construction.
What I like most is that it’s outdoors. I’ve always been an outdoors sort of person and I don’t really see myself stuck in an office environment. It’s nice to face a challenge every day, overcome problems and at the end of all the hard graft produce a nice installation that the clients are happy with.
Construction management jobs involve having to manage several things at the same time. So you’ve got to juggle a lot of balls and you really have to be an effective people manager. You have to look after safety and quality and there are a number of elements to the job, all of which need equal attention and successful management.
That great feeling of finishing a building with a satisfied client and walking away. You could be the best accountant in the world but no-one sees your books, whereas what we do is tangible. Everyone gets to see it, including your friends and your family. Everyone can see the building you’ve finished as part of your team. I think that’s a really nice feeling.
I see myself progressing through to the contracts manager role where you oversee a number of sites, reporting straight to the directors of construction companies. I’d certainly like to become the regional director at ISG.
To any construction new starters I’d say that it’s a wonderful challenge. You’ll meet some great people. You’ll face times where you’re ‘up against it’ but you’ll soon get through that once you finish the building and walk away from it. It’s a great feeling. You’ll open a lot of doors, you’ll meet a lot of fantastic people and you’ll develop a lot of skills.
It is essential to keep up to date with legislation, compliance and reporting requirements through regular training and continuous professional development (CPD).
That means attending training courses, seminars and conferences to understand the current issues in construction and refresh your skills and knowledge. Most large firms offer structured training.
In Scotland, you usually need a degree, a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or a Higher National Diploma (HND), in a relevant subject. This could be in construction, civil engineering, construction management, architecture or building surveying.
Entry requirements vary according to the level of course, but are normally 1-3 Highers for an HNC or HND and 4-5 Highers for a degree.
As a school leaver, you can apply through ConstructionSkills for a Modern Apprenticeship, after taking a group of subjects at Standard grade or National 5. Subjects should include English, maths and science or technological subjects. You can then study part time for an HNC or HND.
Once you've got your construction qualifications and some experience you can also become chartered or a chartered builder. Becoming chartered means you have proved that you are highly experienced and skilled at doing your job. It is comparable to a bachelor’s degree and is recognised all over the world.
Becoming chartered can enhance your career, increase your salary and boosts the professionalism of your organisation. There are many routes to becoming chartered. Whether you’re a graduate, have technical or vocational qualifications or have simply built up years of experience, you can choose the path that best suits you.
You can achieve chartership through the relevant professional institution for the career you are following however a full range of management roles within construction can gain chartered status through The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
You need to hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a construction site. You will need to pass a health and safety test and have a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) certificate.
Further details can be found at My World of Work
Get more information on how to get into construction
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Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful:
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.
According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 4310 Construction Project Managers (which includes Site Managers), every year between 2017 - 2021. The majority of the demand for these construction jobs in the UK will be in the South West, followed by a fairly even spread across West Midlands and Northern Ireland.
Explore the progression opportunities below