Salary and Career Info for a Commercial Excavation Manager

Commercial excavation managers require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties, and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

A commercial excavation manager oversees the excavation activities and the safety of his employees on his site. Specific safety certifications should be held by commercial excavation managers due to the high safety risks associated with their work environment, although it is not required.

Essential Information

A commercial excavation manager directs a team of earth-moving professionals to dig trenches for pipelines, foundations, and other non-residential construction. Certification might be required to oversee excavation projects. Education requirements for this career vary, but excavation managers with either a bachelor's or associate's degree in a construction-related field might have better career prospects than those with only a high school diploma.

Required Education Varies; a high school diploma might be sufficient, but an associate's or bachelor's degree in a construction-related field could be beneficial
Other Requirements Certification as a Trenching and Excavation Competent Person might be necessary
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 3% (for first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators)
Median Salary (2015)* $55,860 (for first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Commercial Excavation Manager Salary Information

Commercial excavation managers' salaries vary depending on the type of employer, the complexity and length of projects, and geographical location. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators, which includes commercial excavation managers, made a median annual salary of $55,860 in May 2015, ( Those employed by the federal government made more than any others, averaging salaries of $103,070 a year.

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Career Information

Large, commercial construction projects can be complex and often require individual teams and managers for each stage. The excavation crew is responsible for removing trees or plants from the work site, digging out the foundation, and preventing trenches from collapsing. A commercial excavation manager is responsible for overseeing the excavation process and ensuring the safety of the crew.


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes excavation as one of the most dangerous aspects of construction projects and requires a team member who has been certified as a Trenching and Excavation Competent Person to be present at excavation work sites ( To earn this certification, candidates must attend a seminar that provides information on OSHA regulations, soil analysis, hazard identification, and safety protocols.

Job Outlook

The BLS predicted a 3% increase in employment of first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators between 2014 and 2024. The bureau expected that as construction projects became more complex, the need for specialized superintendents would increase, though growth will be slower than average.

Commercial excavation managers oversee excavation activities and excavation crews at construction sites. Formal education may not be required but can give a solid foundation to an aspiring commercial excavation manager as well as a boost when looking for a job. Safety certification is available for these professionals as well.

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