In construction, superintendent is a crucial role. Their main responsibility is to ensure the success of the projects they work on, but what exactly does the job look like on a day-to-day basis?
What is a construction superintendent?
A construction superintendent is a management-level employee responsible for overseeing a construction project from start to finish.
With all of the varied responsibilities this entails, it takes a specific type of person to excel in the role.
What does a construction superintendent do?
In many ways, a superintendent's duties are similar to those of a construction project manager. They attend meetings, file reports and permits, and may conduct presentations or act as a representative of the firm when needed.
However, they spend far more time at the jobsite. The construction superintendent leads tasks, monitors and documents project progress, and either completes reports or makes sure that employees and subcontractors submit them on time. They may also be involved in hiring decisions and managing supplies and equipment.
Construction superintendent responsibilities
The construction superintendent's role is hands-on, and they spend most of their work hours on the jobsite.
The construction superintendent’s work begins before the planning stage when they read bid proposals and submit bids for the firm. Once a project is accepted, a superintendent is assigned to determine what building and environmental permits will be needed to begin construction, as well as any other required paperwork.
They are responsible for determining what workers and subcontractors should be employed for a particular project and usually participate in the hiring and interviewing process. If any workers require specific training over the course of a project, the superintendent is typically the one who arranges it.
Once the physical phase of a construction project is underway, the superintendent generally reports to the jobsite on a daily basis and often maintains a temporary office there.
They communicate closely with the construction project manager. One of the superintendent's main responsibilities is to act as the eyes and ears of the project manager at the site.
They closely monitor work and enforce safety and quality procedures.
Superintendents are often responsible for managing daily reports, time and material tracking, and time tracking. They may complete reports and time cards themselves, or they may organize and review reports and time cards submitted by their teams.
By providing daily updates from the jobsite, the superintendent keeps offsite stakeholder informed of project progress.
The construction superintendent is also generally responsible for both scheduling and budget management over the course of a project. To support these efforts, they’re also expected to conduct and/or attend relevant meetings and file related paperwork.
Although construction superintendents are often former construction workers with plenty of experience under their work belt, they usually don't participate in physical labor.
However, they do oversee the work being performed, are responsible for all warnings and notifications issued on site, and may act as an arbitrator when worker or subcontractor conflicts arise. Because of this, a good superintendent is also a good communicator.
Construction superintendent vs project manager
While the construction superintendent works closely with the project manager, their roles are distinct from each other.
Construction project managers are involved in all aspects of a project, from preliminary meetings to inspections. The superintendent is more involved in the day-to-day operations of the project and takes an active role in operations on the jobsite. The project manager is also certainly involved, but may spend more time in the office than the superintendent.
Read our ultimate guide to construction management to learn more about the project management process.
Raken for superintendents
A skilled superintendent can do the job best with handy digital tools like Raken's app for daily reporting and time card management . Our software’s suite of features help make many functions and long days of a superintendent in construction faster and easier.