Learn About the Construction Foreman Job Description, Salary, and Requirements.
Construction Foreman Job Description & Definition
What Does a Construction Foreman Do?
In this profile, we’ll break down the Construction Foreman job description, salary, requirements, and more. A construction foreman is responsible to lead a team or crew in completing a construction project. The job differs depending on the trade. For example, a commercial roofing foreman will be responsible for different things than a commercial construction foreman, or a residential foreman.
What is true of all foreman is this: they have learned the trade themselves, and are responsible for the completion of a specific project (whether it’s a new roof, a new building, etc.). They have to exercise strong leadership skills to oversee the entire project, ensure that their team is working safely and efficiently, and address any job site concerns. A foreman will also be responsible for communicating project progress to supervisors, training of other employees, ensuring a safe work environment, and more. (1)
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- Leading crews to complete specific projects.
- Overseeing training of new crew members.
- Communicating to project managers/supervisors.
- Reading plans and specs.
- Ensuring quality work and correct practices.
- Strong knowledge of their trade.
- Communications skills.
- Strong leadership.
- Ability to lead by example.
- Ability to educate new employees.
- Planning and staying on timeline.
While it may be possible in some trades to work your way up as a foreman without formal education, you will need strong math, communication, planning, and budgeting skills. The exact educational requirements to become a foreman will depend on the trade you’re looking to enter. Many will not require any sort of formal “construction foreman degree”, but all will require you to know the trade and construction process inside and out, and require you to do all job site calculations, cost analysis and budgeting, and communicate regularly with both your team and your supervisors to ensure successful project completion. Depending on the trade you’re looking to enter, you may need a formal apprenticeship or vocational training degree to enter, and after growing in your skills and experience, you’ll need to learn what the unique requirements are in your company to become a foreman.
The qualifications to become a construction foreman will vary depending on the trade and company you’re in. Some companies will promote from within, not requiring many/any qualifications, while others may require a formal “foreman training” class or certain safety certifications, etc.
Construction Foreman Salary
How Much Does a Construction Foreman Make?
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Construction Foreman Career Paths
Where Can You Go From Here?
So, how do you become a construction foreman? And where can you go from that position? Well, as we already mentioned, the requirements to become a construction foreman depend on 1) the trade you’re in, and 2) whether you’re working for a private company or you’re union, then finally 3) the specific requirements of that company or union trade.
For example, if you wanted to become a commercial roofing foreman, many private companies would promote you from within and send you to foreman training classes, without any formal educational requirements. However, it might be a more structured process if you’re entering the union.
To get started, the most important thing to do is to first determine the trade you want to work in. It’s no good to try and be a foreman in a trade you can’t stand, don’t know much about, or aren’t skilled in. Once you’ve determined which trade you’d like to work in, you need to find the specific requirements to becoming a foreman. Part of this means deciding if you want to work for a privately owned company, or work for a union. You can call your local union to talk to them about the next steps to take to becoming a foreman. If you decide on a private company, do quick search to find the best ( = highest rated and reviewed) and most professional companies in your area. Give them a call, tell them you want to enter the trade and some day become a foreman. Ask them if they could tell you what their process looks like to becoming a foreman. This will help you get real answers from local, reputable companies, and understand what they’ll require. In the current state of things, many companies are looking for people like you – that are driven, and want to stick around a long time. Hopefully they’ll be happy to talk to you, and who knows, they may even invite you in for an interview!
So, where can you go from the foreman position? The answer is, any number of leadership positions, including superintendent, construction manager, productivity coach, supervisor, etc. The Instructor who taught our foreman leadership course went on to become a President of a company.
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- (1) Wikipedia, Construction foreman,
on the Internet at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construction_foreman (visited July 20, 2017).
- Payscale, Construction Foreman, on the Internet at http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Construction_Foreman/Hourly_Rate (visited July 20, 2017).