How do I Become a Superintendent?

Carol Francois

Many people who aspire to make a change in their local community want to become a superintendent. The term itself is used to describe a range of different positions, from school superintendent to construction site superintendent. However, the position itself is always one of upper management and significant responsibility. These positions are typically well compensated and usually represent a long, successful career.

A degree or diploma in a business or skilled trade is typically required of construction superintendents.
A degree or diploma in a business or skilled trade is typically required of construction superintendents.

The first step to become a superintendent is to obtain the relevant post-secondary education. There is no specific training designed for this role. Instead, it is best to complete the training program required to qualify for an entry-level position in the industry you are interested in. For example, someone who wants to become a superintendent for a school board needs to qualify as a teacher. Anyone who wants to qualify for a construction superintendent position should complete a degree or diploma in business or a skilled trade.

The next stage is the building of related experience and management skills. After five to 10 years working experience, the candidate should be looking to move his or her career forward into a position of greater responsibility. This may require additional education, or a few courses in supervising others and interpersonal skills. Talk with your human resources department to identify the minimum academic requirements for the position. Look into part-time programs or courses that will help you to fill this gap in your resume.

Once in senior management, invest the energy required to succeed in this position. Many people find the transition from staff to management difficult, as many of the skills you have developed are not used at this level. Find a mentor or confidante who can help you negotiate this change successfully. Listen to the advice and try to implement it into your behavior and attitudes at work.

The number of people who want to become a superintendent is much greater than the number of positions available. In order to be successful in this pursuit, you will need to outshine the other candidates. Consult a professional career counselor, who can review your resume, complete leadership and personality tests, and provide an unbiased appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses.

By working closely with an executive coach or related service, you can address areas of weakness so they can become strengths. This type of work is achieved in private sessions and is often covered by health insurance plans as counseling services. Although not well publicized, this type of coaching is very common and can be quite effective.

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