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Building Superintendent: Job Description, Responsibilities and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a building superintendent. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and salary information to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Building superintendents manage maintenance crews in the upkeep of commercial, industrial or residential buildings. Previous experience in facility maintenance and management are preferred for this supervisory position. The career outlook for qualified superintendents is average, and certified facility managers may have more job prospects.

Required Education High school diploma is the minimum requirements; some postsecondary education recommended
Other Requirements Optional certification available
Projected Job Growth* 12% between 2012 and 2022 (property, real estate and community association managers)
Median Salary (2014)** $44,792

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Job Description for Building Superintendents

Building superintendents supervise upkeep of residential, commercial or industrial buildings and report to a property manager. For residential buildings, such as apartment complexes, building superintendents usually serve as the first point of contact for resident service requests. For commercial and industrial buildings, they ensure that the property is in compliance with company standards and public business ordinances. Many superintendents also have previous work experience with electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems.

Possession of a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement for many building superintendent positions, but some employers favor candidates with college-level coursework in architecture, construction, property management or facility maintenance. Also, some high-level building superintendent certifications require postsecondary education. A March 2011 search of the job site Monster.com revealed that some employers prefer applicants with certificates in fire safety and sprinkler systems. These and other basic certificates can be obtained through short training programs offered by state public safety departments.

Responsibilities of Building Superintendents

Building superintendents delegate daily repair tasks to maintenance staff and make sure that the building is kept clean and presentable looking. They often work with contractors for completing larger renovation projects. Their job also involves scheduling building worker shifts and keeping maintenance costs within budget. As they hire and instruct new workers, superintendents sometimes take a hand in routine tasks, such as fixing leaky pipes, painting rooms, patching drywall and fitting locks.

Although superintendents will make frequent site visits throughout their day, they generally have some type of office. Superintendents should also be familiar with a building's blueprints since they need to efficiently locate, identify and assess any potential problems with the infrastructure. Many residential building superintendents live onsite, and superintendents of all types are typically on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week in case of a building emergency.

Outlook and Salary Info for Building Superintendents

According to PayScale.com, the median salary for building superintendents was $44,792 as of September 2014. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted growth for property, real estate, and community association managers positions, such as building superintendents, to be 12% in the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). As more property managers recognize the need for preventative maintenance and efficient operation of their buildings, demand for qualified superintendents should be strong.

Advanced superintendent positions often involve managing multiple buildings, and becoming a certified facility manager (CFM) can help in landing these higher-level jobs. The International Facility Management Association offers this globally recognized certification. Candidates must meet postsecondary education and work experience requirements to be eligible for the CFM exam (www.ifma.org).

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