Becoming a Civils Supervisor in the Fibre industry

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Becoming a Civils Supervisor in the Fibre industry

​The Fibre industry continues to grow at a rapid rate. The global market is predicted to be worth £6 billion this year, and over £8.4 billion by 2027. The opportunities this creates for jobseekers are plentiful, but it’s important to go into any applications with proper knowledge of what the role entails.

That’s where we’ll try and help you. In this blog, we’ll home in on the role of Civils Supervisor. This is one of the most sought-after roles in the Fibre industry – but what does it actually entail? What do you need to succeed? And how can you progress?

Read on for answers to these questions and more.

What does a Civils Supervisor in the Fibre industry do?

As Civils Supervisor, you’ll be responsible for the end-to-end delivery of a fibre build programme. All civils activities will fall under your remit, and you’ll supervise all field operatives – those employed directly and those who are contractors.

A key part of your role is to drive efficiency – you need to maximise the outputs from Civils Operatives and minimise any downtime.

A Civils Supervisor’s role is highly interactive, as you’re managing people and also reporting upwards.

Some of your daily duties can involve:

  • Carrying out daily risk assessments of the site and ensuring relevant people have completed theirs

  • Collating data, including scheme drawings and construction details

  • Ensuring builds are following the plan and remaining on target

  • Communicating any changes to the management team

  • Analysing results via daily audits and feeding these back to operational managers

  • Liaising with relevant authorities such as the Highways Authority

What is a good salary for a Civils Supervisor?

The typical salary for this role in the UK can range from anywhere between £32,000 and £52,000 per year. Generally, you’ll find most roles advertised at £35,000-£40,000, depending on experience, with room to grow in post.

What skills do I need to be a Civils Supervisor?

The most critical skills are soft skills. While certifications and industry knowledge are valued, these can always be picked up. More important are things such as strong communication and leadership ability. You’ll need to be able to manage a range of different people, and the calmness to negotiate through any potential conflicts.

You also need excellent organisation skills, as you’ll be multitasking between different teams and activities. You’re the one who needs to manage these activities and keep everyone on track, as the entire project is based on timelines that need to be met. If you’re somebody who enjoys planning and can work under pressure, then this could be just the job for you.

As mentioned earlier, there are specific plans and drawings that need to be implemented, so attention to detail is key. This also applies when it comes to safety. You’ll be responsible for making sure all safety requirements are met – standards need to be followed to a tee. You’ll need to know exactly what these standards are, as well as various government and environmental regulations.

What qualifications do I need as a Civils Supervisor?

In terms of certifications – or tickets as they’re commonly known – here are some of the ones which are most desired.

  • The New Roads and Street Works Act Accreditation (NRSWA) – you might also hear this accreditation called something like “streetworks training”, but it’s always handy to know what it’s officially called. NRWSA shows you’re qualified to carry out work that includes breaking up streets, or tunnelling under streets. Having this qualification means you can supervise the Civils Operatives in your team. Some of our Build Partners actually offer this training, so feel free to ask us for more information.

  • ​Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) – this is a globally recognised health and safety certification.

  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) – this is for anyone that’s responsible for planning, organising, monitoring, controlling, and administering groups of staff, so is an important one for Civils Supervisors. Note that this expires after 5 years, so to remain certified you’ll need to do a refresher course before the end date.

Having a full UK Driving Licence will also be helpful. It’s not completely essential though, as not all locations will require you to drive.

What experience is required of a Civils Supervisor?

Companies usually look for experienced Civils Supervisors or Lead Gangers, who’ve shown the ability to manage people, fibre installations and full fibre build projects. On the other hand, if you have a few years’ experience as a Civils Operative, feel free to apply for that next step up as a Civils Supervisor. You’ve already got industry experience, so if you can demonstrate some of the key skills we mentioned earlier, you’ll have a great chance.

However, don’t think you only need to have worked in the Fibre industry for an opportunity. Candidates that have supervisor experience in parallel industries – such as Telecoms, Utilities or even Construction – are also looked at favourably. There’s plenty of transferable skills and the nature of those industries means things won’t be completely alien to you.

If you’re at the start of your Fibre industry career, there’s also a route to becoming a Civils Supervisor. We have Build Partners who run trainee programmes for just that. You’d join them as a trainee Civils Supervisor and receive both classroom and on-the-job training.

What roles can I do after being a Civils Supervisor?

Right at the very start of this blog, we spoke about the growth of the industry and the opportunities it brings. For example, the CityFibre Network Build project is slated to run until at least 2025, with opportunities to maintain and update the network going far beyond that. All opportunities are permanent and you get a guarantee of ongoing professional development, with training paid for by your employer or sometimes funded by CityFibre.

If you’re a Civils Supervisor, there are plenty of opportunities to move up the ladder or into other roles. A lot of these allow you to make even greater use of your organisational skills and the experience of helping deliver fibre projects. One option is to become a Programme Manager or Project Manager. If this is something you’re interested in, you may wish to pick up some professional Project Management qualifications – the most popular ones being Prince2 and Association for Project Management (APM).

Another option is to become a Delivery Manager – here you’ll be taking full ownership for multiple fibre projects, often within specific geographic regions.

Finally, you could go into a Planner role, where you’ll play a hands-on role in actually setting up the projects and schedules.

The key takeaway

The opportunities in the Fibre industry are incredible, and becoming a Civils Supervisor is one of the most in demand. Hopefully this blog has given you a good idea of what the job entails, and how you can get started!

For more resources on your search to becoming a civils supervisor, find our guide on optimising your job search in the fibre market here.

Civils Supervisor Jobs