Clerk of Works

What is a Site Manager/Clerk of Works?

A Site Manager, also known as a Clerk of Works, is a professional responsible for overseeing various aspects of construction projects to ensure they meet quality, safety, and efficiency standards. They play a crucial role in ensuring that construction contracts run smoothly and that work is completed to a high standard. Becoming a Site Manager or Clerk of Works typically involves gaining experience in the construction industry and obtaining relevant qualifications.

What does a Site Manager/Clerk of Works do?

Site Managers or Clerks of Works have a range of responsibilities, including:

  • Supervision: They supervise all on-site activities of a construction contract. This involves overseeing construction workers, subcontractors, and other personnel to ensure that work is carried out efficiently and according to the project’s specifications.
  • Quality Control: Site Managers/Clerks of Works are responsible for maintaining high standards of workmanship. They inspect the construction site regularly to identify any issues, defects, or deviations from plans and ensure they are addressed promptly.
  • Communication: Effective communication is vital in this role. Site Managers/Clerks of Works need to liaise with contractors, subcontractors, and other stakeholders to convey project requirements, resolve problems, and provide progress updates.
  • Planning and Scheduling: They play a crucial role in project planning and scheduling to ensure that work is completed on time. This includes coordinating tasks, managing resources, and adhering to project timelines.
  • Health and Safety: Ensuring the safety of all personnel on the construction site is a top priority. Site Managers/Clerks of Works enforce health and safety regulations, conduct risk assessments, and take necessary precautions to prevent accidents.

How to Become a Site Manager/Clerk of Works

Entry Requirements

There are no specific academic qualifications required to become a Site Manager or Clerk of Works. However, relevant industry experience is essential. This experience can be gained at the craft or technician level in construction or civil engineering. Graduates with degrees related to construction may also be eligible for entry into this profession.

Training and Qualifications

  • Trainee Level: Some individuals begin their careers as trainees and work their way up after completing introductory courses. These courses might include certifications like the City & Guilds Award/Certificate/Diploma in Basic Construction Skills (Level 1), NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) at Level 2 or 3, BTEC/SQA Level 2 or 3, or a BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) or Higher National Certificate (HNC).
  • Graduate Entry: Graduates with degrees in construction-related subjects may be employed as apprentices, where they receive on-the-job training while working.


To enhance their qualifications and career prospects, Site Managers/Clerks of Works can pursue additional certifications. For example, they can gain NVQs in Site Inspection at Levels 3 and 4. Membership with the Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate (ICWCI) can also be valuable. Although membership is not mandatory, it is increasingly sought after by employers and beneficial for career advancement.

Skills and Aptitude

Site Managers/Clerks of Works should possess excellent communication skills, leadership abilities, and the capacity to establish positive working relationships with contractors and colleagues. They need to have a keen eye for detail, as well as the ability to lead a team effectively. Additionally, they should be well-versed in health and safety regulations and be prepared to work outdoors in various weather conditions.

Working Conditions

Work Hours

Site Managers/Clerks of Works typically work around 40 hours per week, from Monday to Friday. However, they may need to work evenings or weekends depending on project deadlines and requirements.

Work Environment

Their workplace is usually a site office, which is often a temporary structure located on the construction site. They spend a significant portion of their time outdoors, exposed to varying weather conditions. In some cases, they may need to climb ladders, scaffolding, or work underground in tunnel construction projects.

Protective Gear

When inspecting construction sites, Site Managers/Clerks of Works may need to wear protective clothing, including hard hats and work boots, to ensure their safety.

Site Manager/Clerk of Works Salary

The salary of Site Managers/Clerks of Works can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and the nature of the construction contract. Here’s a general salary overview:

  • Entry Level: Starting salaries for Site Managers/Clerks of Works may range from £28,000 to £35,000 per year.
  • Experienced Professionals: With significant experience and qualifications, Site Managers/Clerks of Works can earn salaries in excess of £50,000 per year, depending on the complexity of the contracts they undertake.

Career Prospects and Progression

Site Managers/Clerks of Works have various opportunities for career progression and development:

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Experienced Clerks of Works must engage in CPD to stay up-to-date with industry advances, including new materials, practices, laws, regulations, and health and safety standards.
  • Specialization: They can choose to specialize in specific areas within the construction industry, such as building, civil engineering, or mechanical and electrical installations.
  • Management Roles: Some Site Managers/Clerks of Works advance to roles in site management or other management positions within the construction sector.
  • Entrepreneurship: Experienced professionals may consider establishing their own construction management businesses, taking on projects independently.
  • International Opportunities: Site Managers/Clerks of Works with significant experience may explore opportunities to work abroad in the construction industry.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Diverse Projects: Site Managers/Clerks of Works are involved in various construction projects, ensuring that their work remains engaging and diverse.
  • Collaboration: They have the chance to collaborate with a wide range of construction industry professionals, including engineers, architects, and contractors.


  • On-Site Conditions: The job may involve on-site inspection, which can be dusty, dirty, and noisy.
  • Irregular Hours: Site Managers/Clerks of Works may need to work long or unsocial hours, including weekends and evenings, to meet project deadlines.

Related Opportunities

Several related career opportunities are available in the construction industry:

  • Building Surveyor: Focuses on assessing the condition of existing buildings and providing advice on maintenance and renovation.
  • Civil Engineer: Engages in the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and utilities.
  • Construction Supervisor/Manager: Oversees the planning and execution of construction projects, ensuring they meet quality and safety standards.

Further Information

For more information and resources related to Site Manager/Clerk of Works careers, consider exploring these organizations:

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