Construction manager

site manager site agent
Construction and building

Career outlook for construction manager

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would supervise and direct operations on a construction project to make sure the building or structure is completed safely, on time and within the budget.

You’d manage the project on behalf of another company, your client. You’d lead and motivate the construction team and sort out any problems that arise during the project.

On small sites you might have full responsibility for the whole project. On larger sites you may be in charge of a particular section and report to a senior site manager.

Before the building work starts, you would:

  • Discuss plans with architects, surveyors and buyers
  • Plan work schedules using project management software
  • Hire employees
  • Arrange for materials to be delivered to the site
  • Set up temporary offices at the site

Once construction has started, you would:

  • Work closely with the workforce on site
  • Check progress, costs and quality
  • Make sure the work meets legal requirements and building regulations
  • Report regularly to your client

You would also be the main point of contact for subcontractors and the public.

As a senior manager, you could oversee several projects at the same time.

Working conditions


You would work around 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, possibly with some evening or weekend work to meet deadlines.


Site work would be in all weather conditions. You may sometimes have to work at heights, for example when inspecting roofing. You would wear protective clothing on site, including safety boots and a hard hat.


Some of your time would be spent travelling between sites and meeting clients and contractors.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Managing resources
  • Delegating
  • Making decisions
  • Motivating others

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Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

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You need a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree (SCQF level 9/10) in a relevant subject:

  • Construction
  • Civil engineering
  • Construction management
  • Architecture
  • Building surveying.

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

For entry to a degree (SCQF level 9/10) you will require National 5 qualifications and Highers or a relevant HND.

Useful subjects

Most courses require:

  • English
  • Maths
  • science or technologies subjects

You will also need

You must have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test to work on construction sites.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate an understanding of construction, planning and organising and practical skills, such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).