The Career Path of a Construction Superintendent

Construction workers looking at blueprints

For aspiring construction industry professionals, understanding potential career paths available to you is an essential first step in your career journey.

There are many different types of jobs within the industry, so there’s sure to be a job out there that is just right for you, your skills, and your professional goals.

One of the paths available to you, especially if you are looking for a management position where you are in control over many different aspects of a job site or construction crew, is the path to becoming a construction superintendent.

What is a Construction Superintendent?

The construction superintendent is the person who is typically in charge of leading a construction project on the job site.

On average, construction superintendents make an annual salary of around $78,000.

They handle the management of schedules, staffing each role, coordinating various subcontractors, and much more. They are responsible for seeing a project all the way from its planning stages to its completion.

These may be permanent roles for staffing a local site, or they may be roles that require a lot of travel from a construction superintendent who travels to each new job site and returns home in between jobs or at certain points on the schedule.

Sometimes, job sites will hire superintendents as contract roles to finish out a project.

Superintendents oversee daily scheduling, ensure compliance and safety on the job site, and supervise tasks and activities performed by the rest of their team.

A construction superintendent may also take on additional responsibilities depending on the needs of each individual project. They can be responsible for estimating costs of a project and handling other reports and meetings that may not be included in the typical superintendent job description.

How to Become a Superintendent

There is a pretty clear path of career progression for future construction superintendents. The most important qualifications are construction knowledge and experience.


Construction superintendents usually need to have at least an associate’s degree, with a bachelor’s degree being a preferred qualification.

Relevant degree fields for this position include architecture, civil engineering, construction management, and business.

However, construction experience is the most important part of this role. An applicant with at least a high school diploma or equivalent and several years of experience in the construction industry could be just as qualified as an applicant with a college degree.

Leadership skills, effective communication skills, knowledge of current best practices within the industry, and a sharp eye for detail are also essential skills for a construction superintendent to have.

The Career Path 

While every company will be slightly different and have different levels of experience, here is a general overview of the path many take from entry-level laborer to lead construction superintendent.

  • Construction Laborer: Entry level construction employees who mostly learn through on-the-job training. These roles typically require no degrees or work experience. With experience and training, they can move up to higher roles within the industry.
  • Foreman or Project/Field Engineer: Construction foremans and field/project engineers act as a point of contact between laborers and supervisors. They assign tasks and oversee various other hands-on aspects of running a construction site. Industry knowledge and experience is required to move up to this role, although the exact requirements depend on each job and company.
  • Assistant Superintendent: For those looking to become construction superintendents, the assistant superintendent position is a great way to gain experience and learn what the job would require. They work closely alongside superintendents to manage job sites and handle things such as scheduling, meeting with clients, and supervising construction laborers. Experience and positive job performance in this role can lead to promotion to construction superintendent.
  • Superintendent: With the necessary job experience and qualifications, employees who started out as entry-level laborers can become superintendents on construction sites. You could stay in this role indefinitely or pursue additional training and certifications to advance your career.
  • Lead Superintendent: Requirements for a lead superintendent are similar to those required for a superintendent. Additional experience, training, and certifications can get you promoted to the lead superintendent position.

Progress Your Superintendent Career with Diamond Peak Recruiting

Diamond Peak Recruiting is a resource available for construction industry professionals looking for a job as a construction superintendent or for a job that can help you make progress on the path to becoming one.

Browse our job listings today to see who is hiring for a variety of construction jobs, or contact us directly for assistance in your job search and answers to questions you may have during the process.