Basically, when one becomes a project manager, their main duty is just that, managing. A project manager is in charge of everything from the ground up. They coordinate the building of everything from roads, to bridges, to service buildings like hospitals, to massive skyscrapers, to tiny cottages, all the way from the beginning of the project up to its final stages. When it comes to drawing up the plans, the construction superintendent must be there to work with the architect. When it comes to forming a time-line for completion of the project, that’s the superintendent’s job. When it comes to hiring the crew (like engineers, electricians, HVAC technicians, carpenters, etc.) and taking precautions for their safety, that also falls under the superintendent’s job description. When it comes to managing the construction’s budget, the superintendent is in charge of all of that too. They must also be clear on every single national, state, and local code, so they do not (A) tamper with the law, or (B) get sued to negligence. Finally, a superintendent is also in charge of securing any permits or licenses the job requires.
It is very important that the project manager/construction superintendent is as efficient with time and money as they can possibly be. The project manger must break down the steps involved in the completion of the structure and complete these steps in the most effective way possible. For instance, perhaps the project would start with concentration on the sewage system, before moving into foundations, before moving into installation of electrical systems. The buying and shipping of building materials must also be time and cost effective.
Obviously, this is a large job to undertake on one’s own because so many things can go wrong. The wrong materials shipped, weather delays, and accidents can all come together to slow the project down and make the superintendent’s life rather difficult. Most project managers work at least 40 hours a week and many work more than that, often at irregular hours. Because of the accumulated stress and massive workload, it’s not uncommon for a project manager to hire one or several construction supervisors to help with the job, especially if the project is big or complicated. This will take the edge off and make the project more feasible for the construction superintendent to handle.
Since the workload is so crazy and requires some intense organizational skills, the pay is big. The median salary for the average project manager falls at $79,860 a year, with the top ten percent making as much as $145,920 a year. So, with great responsibility comes great rewards. Though becoming a construction superintendent is a lot of work and requires advanced electrician training, with that kind of payoff, it can be worth it.