Building above the ground is called construction. Taking materials from beneath the surface is called extraction. Both of these processes require a lot of coordination – someone to make sure that the right job is done, at the exact time it’s needed, as safely as possible. First Line Supervisors and Managers of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers are like orchestra conductors. Queuing each person to play his or her part. They tell equipment operators when to arrive and what their responsibilities will be… …and make sure there are enough workers at the site to get a job done on schedule. In addition to scheduling, training and motivating workers, supervisors keep records to document important information. They also have to be able to manage money to keep projects on budget. Good organizational and communication skills are a necessity. In addition to a high school diploma they might also have training in business methods such as accounting. Many supervisors work alongside the people they manage. In fact, they’re often promoted from the workforce after years of experience. Whether they work underground, or high above it, First Line Supervisors and Managers of Construction Trades and Extraction workers do important work for a nation on the move.
Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.
What Do First Line Supervisors of Construction Trades Do?
Construction managers typically do the following:
- Prepare cost estimates, budgets, and work timetables
- Interpret and explain contracts and technical information to other professionals
- Report work progress and budget matters to clients
- Collaborate with architects, engineers, and other construction specialists
- Select subcontractors and schedule and coordinate their activities
- Respond to work delays, emergencies, and other problems
- Comply with legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations
Construction managers, often called general contractors or project managers, coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of public, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, as well as roads, memorials, and bridges. Either a general contractor or a construction manager oversees the construction phase of a project, but a construction manager may also consult with the client during the design phase to help refine construction plans and control costs.
Construction managers oversee specialized contractors and other personnel. They schedule and coordinate all construction processes so that projects meet design specifications. They ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Some construction managers may be responsible for several projects at once—for example, the construction of multiple apartment buildings.
Construction managers work closely with other building specialists, such as architects, civil engineers, and a variety of trade workers, including stonemasons, electricians, and carpenters. Projects may require specialists in everything from structural steel and painting to landscaping, paving roads, and excavating sites. Depending on the project, construction managers may interact with lawyers and local government officials. For example, when working on city-owned property or municipal buildings, construction managers sometimes confer with city inspectors to ensure that all regulations are met.
For projects too large to be managed by one person, such as office buildings and industrial complexes, a top-level construction manager hires other construction managers to be in charge of different aspects of the project. For example, each construction manager would oversee a specific phase of the project, such as structural foundation, plumbing, or electrical work, and choose subcontractors to complete it. The top-level construction manager would then collaborate and coordinate with the other construction managers.
To maximize efficiency and productivity, construction managers often perform the tasks of a cost estimator. They use specialized cost-estimating and planning software to show how to allocate time and money in order to complete their projects. Many construction managers also use software to plan the best way to get materials to the building site.