Construction manager, site foreperson

Site managers organise work on building sites, making sure it’s completed safely, on time and within budget. As a site manager, no two days will ever be the same. You’ll liaise with architects, surveyors and builders to ensure a project is on track and there are enough staff, machinery and materials to get the job done.

Average salary*

£25000 – £50000+

Typical hours per week


How to become a site manager

There are several routes to becoming a site manager. You could do a university course, an apprenticeship, or apply directly to an employer.

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. If you already work within the construction industry, you may be able to become a site manager by completing some part-time courses.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


You could do a foundation degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND) or an undergraduate degree that is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Relevant subjects include building studies, construction or civil engineering, surveying or estimating. 

You’ll need:

  • 1 – 2 A levels (foundation degree or HND)
  • 2 – 3 A levels (undergraduate degree).


An apprenticeship with a construction firm is a good way into the industry. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

You could start your career as an apprentice in most construction trades and then work your way up to being a site manager over time. Alternatively, you could apply for a higher apprenticeship in construction management.

For this, you’ll need 4 – 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels (or equivalent).


If you’re an experienced estimator, building technician, surveyor or site supervisor, you may be able to apply directly for a site manager role. 

If you have management experience in a related industry (such as civil engineering) you may also be eligible to apply.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. This could have been gained at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a site manager. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV. 


Additional skills which may benefit anyone looking to become a site manager include:

  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Excellent time management and leadership skills
  • Business management skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Good initiative and logical thinking skills.

What does a site manager do?

As a site manager you will be responsible for looking after the teams on a construction site, as well as liaising with the clients. You could be monitoring costs and budget, and ordering materials for the project.

The job role of a site manager involves the following duties:

  • Liaising with clients and reporting on progress to staff and the public
  • Supervising construction workers and hiring subcontractors
  • Buying materials for each phase of the project
  • Monitoring build costs and project progress
  • Conducting quality and safety inspections
  • Checking and preparing site reports, designs and drawings
  • Maintaining quality control checks
  • Motivating the workforce
  • Day to day problem solving and dealing with any issues that arise
  • Using specialist project management computer programmes
  • Working on-site in all weathers, at clients’ businesses or in a site office.

How much could you earn as a site manager?

The expected salary for a site manager varies as you become more experienced.

  • Assistants/trainee site managers can earn £25,000 – £35,000
  • Trained site managers with some experience can earn £35,000 – £45,000
  • Senior or chartered site managers can earn £45,000 – £50,000.*

Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources

Find an apprenticeship/job


Apprenticeships in England

Apprenticeships in Scotland

Apprenticeships in Wales


Check out the latest site manager vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

Site managers can progress to become contract managers or project consultants. You might decide to specialise and move into an area such as estimating, health and safety, or building inspection.

Your career prospects will improve if you apply to become chartered through an industry body such as the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).