By Kim Slowey

Experience is the real gauge of a quality superintendent.

Construction projects don’t run themselves, and a good superintendent is a critical layer between project managers and field operations.

Like many skilled construction jobs, superintendents are in demand. Here’s what contractors are looking for in a superintendent today according to Brian Binke, president and CEO of Detroit-area construction executive search firm The Birmingham Group,


Potential employers look for substantial periods of employment — at least one to two years —  even though many construction workers are known to be somewhat transient as they move from project to project. This stability shows that the superintendent is a good candidate for large jobs that could last a few years.

Trade skills

If forced to choose between a superintendent with trade experience and a formal education, more clients would choose the former, according to Binke. Someone who started in the trades, he said, has more credibility in the field.

“It is easier to rally support from field workers by someone who really understands it,” Binke said. “Subcontractors and workers can see through someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and might try shortcuts if they can get away with it.”


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