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How Do I Become a Site Supervisor?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

Most people who want to become a site supervisor have been working in the construction or renovation industry for three to five years. A site supervisor is responsible for providing instruction and tasks to all the different trades and staff working on the construction site. All staff is required to report to the site supervisor upon arrival at the job site to get instructions for the day.

There is no formal post-secondary training program to become a site supervisor. Instead, candidates often have training in a specific trade or have many years of experience working on a range of job sites. Some companies require all site supervisors to complete an internal training program. This ensures that they have all received the same information regarding company policy, procedures, and safety guidelines. This is especially important on large jobs or work for the government. Assurances of safety and compliance are especially important in this sector.

A site supervisor might have trained for work at any number of locations.
A site supervisor might have trained for work at any number of locations.

People who experience the greatest success as a site supervisor have mechanical aptitude, enjoying working with others, and have excellent conflict management skills. The actual work required is well known, and most employees are already trained and skilled in their specific craft. Managing the timing, relationships, and priorities is the difficult part of this job. Excellent communication and negotiation skills are necessary to ensure that the project goes smoothly.

Site supervisors often have experience working as a laborer.
Site supervisors often have experience working as a laborer.

Related work experience than can be very useful if you want to become a site supervisor includes project management. Any position that allows the candidate to gain leadership skills, long-term planning, and resource allocation are excellent. Many people start their working careers as a laborer or trades person on a construction site. The ability to work in a complex environment and provide a high-quality product is very important and an excellent experience to become a site supervisor.

Some firms have on-site project managers who are ultimately responsible for supervising the entire project.
Some firms have on-site project managers who are ultimately responsible for supervising the entire project.

The vast majority of construction and renovation firms prefer to promote staff from within. This policy motivates staff at all levels to perform to the best level of effort, encourages accountability, and ensures continuity within the firm. All site supervisors are familiar with the standard business practices, have the skills required to work together, and understand their role within the organization.

Most construction companies prefer to promote staff from within.
Most construction companies prefer to promote staff from within.

The career options above site supervisor are quite broad, but vary by company. Some firms have on-site project managers who are ultimately responsible for the entire project. This type of position often requires formal training in engineering, architecture, or business management. In other firms, the site supervisor is the most senior team member on the site, and he or she reports directly to the general manager.

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    • A site supervisor might have trained for work at any number of locations.
      By: michaeljung
      A site supervisor might have trained for work at any number of locations.
    • Site supervisors often have experience working as a laborer.
      By: Jean-Yves Foy
      Site supervisors often have experience working as a laborer.
    • Some firms have on-site project managers who are ultimately responsible for supervising the entire project.
      By: michaeljung
      Some firms have on-site project managers who are ultimately responsible for supervising the entire project.
    • Most construction companies prefer to promote staff from within.
      By: mavil
      Most construction companies prefer to promote staff from within.
    • A site supervisor is responsible for providing instruction to all the different trades and staff working on a construction site.
      By: Sam Spiro
      A site supervisor is responsible for providing instruction to all the different trades and staff working on a construction site.