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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

Career Profile

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.

What they do

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.

Typical tasks include:

  • liaising with clients and reporting progress, professional staff (such as architects and surveyors) and the public
  • supervising contracted construction workers
  • meeting subcontractors
  • making safety inspections and ensuring construction and site safety
  • checking and preparing site reports, designs and drawings
  • maintaining quality control checks
  • motivating the workforce throughout the project
  • day to day problem solving
  • using specialist construction management computer applications

Hours & Salary: 

  • Assistant/trainee construction jobs in site management can earn in the region of £22,000 - £43,000
  • Trained with experience site managers can earn in the region of £34,000 - £55,000
  • Senior or chartered site managers can earn in the region of £40,000 - £65,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.


Explore all the different construction industry jobs available with our Roles In Construction Animation.

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

Case Study

Chris - Site Manager|3:06

Chris Bickerstaff is a site manager with ISG Construction, which specialises in small to medium housing or retail developments.

What do you do?

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.

How did you get started?

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 do you like about your job?

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.

What skills do you need?

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.

What makes you proud?

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.

Where is your career heading?

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.

What do you say about joining the construction industry?

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. 

Find out more about the range of construction jobs on offer with our Careers Explorer

Qualifications & Training

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 

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: 





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

4310 additional staff needed

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.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

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

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