Starting At The Top

Starting At The Top

I have been doing articles on construction for the last month mainly dealing with Clerk of the Works and Owner Project Managers. This article will deal with the building construction contractors putting personnel on a construction site with a college degree and little else to oversee projects.

This practice has been getting more widespread in the building construction industry in the past 10 years. The Construction Company owners are doing a disservice to the young person they are putting in charge of the job with little experience and also a disservice to the Owner of the building that the Contractor is working for.

What ever happened to working your way up through the ranks starting as an apprentice and working into a supervisory position this will help the Contractor. A person put in the supervisory position after they worked their way up through ranks will be more respected. The trades people that they are supervising know that the supervisor was trained in the field they are overseeing, so when a problem arises the supervisor has a background in the trades to help overcome the problem without causing delays and cost overruns.

On a Building Construction project that has a Project Manager and Supervisor that has field experience the job runs smoother and materials flow to the job as needed. The schedules are kept more often and cost overruns are kept to a minimum.

A Construction Project Manager that has field training is much more likely to put together a schedule that is feasible to obtain the finished product on the due date. The Project Manager will know when long lead items have to be ordered by and also looking over the drawings can make sure materials needed for life safety are incorporated into the project.

The Construction Supervisor on a building project should have at least 5 to 10 years experience in the field as a trades person before overseeing a construction project this will give the Supervisor some background when there is a problem to overcome in the field and most of the times with a supervisor with field experience they will find the problems on the Construction documents before anything is ordered by the Project Manager. Such as: there is not enough space between the ceilings and the upper decks for ductwork and light fixtures or Pipe chases are not large enough to accommodate the Ductwork, plumbing, and electrical going to a upper floor.

In closing I would like to state that although a person goes through college they should owe it to themselves to work in the field for at least 5 years before taking on a Project Manager position or Construction Supervisor position they will be more productive, their co-workers will have more respect for them and they will know how the components of the project fit together if they have worked in the field. It also gives the Project Manager and Construction Supervisor a feeling of what can be done in a day and what weather conditions do to production when working outside. These are items that unless you have lived through them you will have no idea with the person in the field doing the work in experiencing.