How do I Become a Field Superintendent?

Carol Francois

The path to become a field superintendent typically requires a combination of training and work experience. A vast majority of people who want to follow this career path have held a series of progressive positions working as field technicians, supervisors, and managers. He or she typically is at the height of their career and have held a senior management position for some time.


In some industries, candidates must have successfully completed post-secondary training in a specific subject matter to become a field superintendent. This requirement most commonly is found in the technical- or engineering-related industry. For example, a field superintendent in the oil and gas industry must be a certified engineer. Take the time to review the academic credentials necessary to work in your industry of choice. Keep in mind that many field superintendent positions may not specifically list the education requirements, but candidates are expected to have experience in positions that only can be achieved with the necessary education or training.

Generally, an undergraduate degree or diploma in business administration or the humanities is excellent training to help you become a field superintendent. The primary focus of these training programs is to develop skills in communication, research, analysis, and critical thinking. All of these skills together form the cornerstone on which to build a career. Many people return to school on a part-time basis to complete additional training in management or industry-specific program. It is very common for candidates who want to become a field superintendent to obtain a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

Experience is essential to become a field superintendent. The types of experience required usually can be divided into two areas: management and subject-matter expertise. Management experience typically is obtained in a supervisory position, with one or two direct reports. In some firms, the organizational structure is flat. In this situation, supervisory experience can be obtained through volunteering.

Career advancement opportunities once you become a field superintendent include director, senior management, and area superintendent. All these positions usually offer higher rates of compensation, but are very demanding. Take the time to prepare your skills and credentials so that when this type of position becomes available, you are a serious contender.

People who experience the greatest success in this role are naturally outgoing, enjoy working with a range of different people, and like a challenge. The primary focus of this position is problem resolution and conflict management. As a result, interpersonal and communication skills are essential in this role.

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