Superintendent Job Overview
Superintendents in the construction industry are responsible for overseeing all phases of construction, from the initial stages to completion. The scope of the project varies based on the expertise of the individual, but most superintendents work on large projects such as commercial buildings, dams, or public works.
Daily tasks for superintendent jobs include:
- Supervising construction activities
- Coordinating activities with suppliers and contractors
- Handling and organizing cost accounting functions such as budgets and estimates
- Conducting human resource functions such as hiring and implementing worker safety protocols
The work of a superintendent is split almost evenly between office responsibilities and on-site supervision of day-to-day activities. Because superintendents possess a comprehensive knowledge of all construction trades, many start in specialties such as carpentry or HVAC installation.
Superintendent Job Education Requirements
To fill the position of superintendent, applicants need a mix of education and experience in the field. Typically, employers require at least a bachelor's degree in a construction related field such as construction management, construction science, or construction engineering. Even with a degree, experience as a plumber, framer, concrete worker, or electrical specialist may also be required.
For those that forego a college education, the best way to become a superintendent is to work as an apprentice. From there, many become independent contractors prior to becoming superintendents. Candidates should also be aware that licenses are necessary to work in some cities, including New York. However, jobs are more plentiful in larger cities.
Voluntary certification is also a highly desirable employment attribute. Several organizations offer these certifications, the most valuable of which include the Associate Constructor and Certified Professional Constructor from the American Institute of Constructors, or a Certified Construction Manager through the Construction Management Association of America.
Superintendent Job Market
Employment for superintendents is expected to increase 16 percent over the next 10 years, which is slightly above the national average for all other occupations. College degrees in a construction field increase the job prospects of potential superintendents, as graduates gain the knowledge needed for a position in a fraction of the time and are highly sought after by employers. Construction is also expected to boom following the recession, as large-scale residential and commercial projects resume.
Superintendent Job Salary Information
The average annual salary for superintendents is $82,790 a year or $39.80 an hour, with the lowest 10 percent paid $73,080 a year, and the highest 10 percent earning $124,415 annually.