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What Are the Duties of a Construction Supervisor?

A construction supervisor oversees work activities on a construction site. Constructions supervisors, sometimes referred to as foremen or forewomen, typically have significant experience in the construction trade.

A construction supervisor usually reports to a site superintendent.

Candidates for construction supervisor roles usually start by entering a construction trade, such as carpentry, and developing their skills and knowledge through experience and union membership. The average salary of a construction supervisor as of July 2010 was £31,850, according to Simply Hired, a search engine for jobs.


Construction supervisors oversee the training and induction of recently hired labourers. They also liaise with surveyors, architects and estimators to ensure all project requirements are running on schedule, as stated on the Sample Job Descriptions website.

A construction supervisor also works with design engineers to initiate and develop changes to building designs, as stated on the HR (Human Resources) Management job description website, and negotiates with subcontractors to acquire skilled personnel and building machinery. A construction supervisor should also have excellent verbal and written communication skills to fulfil these duties.

Resource Management

Construction supervisors are responsible for the efficient deployment of labour, construction machinery and building materials on a given project.

They schedule work activities, document the amount of building materials used and make progress reports to management.

Construction supervisors must ensure projects are completed on schedule and within the budget of the contracting company. They identify any project problems such as budgetary restraints or personnel shortfall and initiate corrective actions.

Worker Safety

A construction supervisor assesses construction site activity to ensure it falls within industry safety procedures. Construction supervisors counsel workers on safer and more effective working practices where required. In the event of worker grievances over conditions, pay or safety, a construction supervisor talks with union leaders to initiate and develop solutions. Construction supervisors should be familiar with union contracts and typical grievance procedures, as stated on the State University website.

Technical Duties

Construction supervisors work with architects and engineers, reading blueprints and revising building plans as required. They also work with carpenters to decide the best way to conduct work to meet project specifications.

A construction supervisor also oversees mechanical work, so he can advise machine and tool operators on the most efficient way to complete key tasks. On smaller projects, rather than overseeing work, constructions supervisors usually work alongside crew members to complete basic site tasks including carpentry and machine operation.