EARN UP TO $202k as a Commissioning Manager…

Last Updated: August 13, 2023, by

We see them arrive on-site, sit in the corner quietly working away, and only really start to get going and making noise in the later stages of a project.

So how much can Commissioning Managers Earn?

According to zippia.com, a Commissioning Manager in America can earn…

USD $113,722
with the top 10% earning over USD$202,000

Wow….. Yes, they are one of the highest-paid specialists on a project. So how can you become one, read on, its not as hard as it all looks. Just dedication, constant self-improvement, and able to question lots of things.

What does a Commissioning Manager Do?

A Commissioning Manager creates, oversees, and closes out the commissioning process, activities, documents, and reports of a construction project, with a team of Engineers and Contractors supporting them.

As listed below, the skill set needed to be a successful Commissioning Manager can be quite varied, involving:

  • Managerial/people skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Technically skilled
  • Able to think logically
  • Efficient
  • Able to use different types of software
  • Inquisitive
  • Good at following/creating processes
  • Able to write documents and reports
  • Able to stand up for yourself
  • Always thinking about future/looks ahead

Commissioning Manager Roles and Responsibilities:

What does a commissioning manager do?. A Commissioning Manager is a leader of a Commissioning Team within a construction project that could be a Hospital, Laboratory, Data Centre, Office Building, Warehouse, etc. They are responsible for ensuring that the building’s systems and documentation are fully delivered and operate according to the clients’ requirements.

They could be employed by a Commissioning Consultant, General Contractor or be Self Employed, they will:

  • Instigate and set up the commissioning process
  • Help the client create project briefs/requirement documents relating to commissioning
  • In some instances – manage tenders and procurement of external commissioning services
  • Liaise with the client teams
  • Liaise with design teams
  • Liaise with general contractors/vendors
  • Liaise with onsite installation teams
  • Liaise with facility teams
  • Liaise with green building / environmental teams
  • Manage internal/external commissioning engineers and trainees
  • Conduct meetings and workshops
  • Review drawings and specifications, making comments and observations
  • Develop construction checklists
  • Write monthly/weekly/daily reports
  • Write commissioning plans/specifications
  • Review/approve commissioning plans/commissioning specifications
  • Write method statements
  • Review/approve testing method statements
  • Attend factory testing
  • Attend start-up testing/pre functional testing
  • Attend functional functional / site testing
  • Manage and oversee the installation of energy monitoring/fault detecting systems
  • Testing strategy planning
  • Programming
  • Asset registers
  • Ensure training is being delivered to the end-user
  • Resolve issues and observations relating to testing and commissioning.
  • Oversee the creation and approval of BMS graphic/electrical discrimination reports and documents
  • Oversee testing and commissioning document filing and record-keeping
  • Manage lessons learned relating to the commissioning
  • Validating that the systems and installations have been fully tested and commissioned in line with project requirements

How to Become a Commissioning Manager?

There are various routes to becoming a commissioning manager:

Usually, it will incorporate some sort of training at a lower level, prior to promotion to the position.

  • Site Technician or fitter – Commissioning Engineer – Commissioning Manager
  • Trainee Commissioning Engineer – Commissioning Engineer – Commissioning Manager
  • Construction Project Engineer – Commissioning Engineer – Commissioning Manager

What Skills Do you need?

Many skills can be learnt on route to becoming a Manager, but if needed to create a list then the following would be useful:

Managerial/People Skills/Communication

As there is a lot of interaction across different levels of management, from Clients to the onsite installation teams, good people skills a very useful.

Technically Skilled

A building services background is a must, as the proving of the systems and equipment will be overseen and witnessed by the Commissioning Team.

There is a lot of technical writing, reviewing, reporting at the early stages of the process, so an understand is required.

Usually, a university degree in relevant field [building services] or good old experience is a great start.

Think Logically

It’s a job where some of the time we try to break things during testing, especially on Data Centres to ensure they operate under certain conditions. This will mean that there are a lot of things to fix, and a logical way of problem solving is a great asset to have.


A commissioning manager wears a lot of hats during a project, and has to oversee a lot of things. Being efficient and working out faster ways to complete tasks [with same quality] will help.


On some occasions we find it very hard to believe what we are being told. Having an inquisitive nature, where you like to investigate, look deeper and question things will help.

Following / Creating Processes

Commissioning is all about processes. If you can make them / follow them.. sign up.

Write Documents and Reports

Technical writing is a large part of the process aswell as reporting, it is not uncommon to write upto 100 testing procedures / method statements for 1 project.

Better enjoy it..

Thinking About the Future

This does not mean the next holiday…

If you can think of what issues/observations are happening at the time, and what the impact will be in 2 – 4 months from those issues then you will be ahead of many people and allow better planning. A very good skill to have or develop.

Is Commissioning a good Career?

The commissioning industry is expected to grow into the future, with the market expected to total nearly $50 Billion from 2014 to 2024 [Navigant Research].

This is mainly due to the issues around Global Warming and governments/businesses finally waking up to the fact buildings including their HVAC Systems are one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases across the world.

Utilising the Building Commissioning Industry skills has been proven to reduce energy usage.

Also worth noting that, for a minimal investment [commissioning], an efficient building can be sold and rented for a premium over the general market.

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