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How to Become a Construction Foreman

If you’re looking to become a construction foreman, you’ll need plenty of experience on the job site working construction. As the foreman, you’ll be working as the middleman between the construction workers and the supervisors. You will be responsible to oversee operations at the worksite and ensure that everyone is working safely. You should be knowledgeable in OSHA standards and have experience managing other employees.

Do you have strong communication skills? If so, those will be needed! You should also have no problem bringing up concerns to those who are in charge. Being a construction foreman is not for the light of heart, but if you have great leadership skills and like managing construction, this could be the career for you.

Sample job description

Without construction foremen, projects at construction sites wouldn’t be completed safely and smoothly. The main responsibility of a construction foreman is to oversee operations at a worksite to ensure their team is working safely and efficiently. Their duty is to address any job site concerns, ensure safe working environments, communicate with construction workers and supervisors, coordinate tasks and production schedules, and train other employees. A construction foreman does this by communicating clearly and possessing great analytical and leadership skills. [Your Company Name] is looking to fulfill our construction foreman position. If you have experience in construction, strong problem-solving skills, and have the ability to lead by example, this position at our company could be the perfect fit.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Make schedules for workers
  • Assign tasks to crew members
  • Supervise construction workers
  • Solve disputes between workers
  • Monitor progress on the project
  • Ensure project stays within budget
  • Serve as a liaison between workers and supervisors

Education and experience

Construction foremen need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. A college degree is not required, but several years of experience in the construction industry would be beneficial. Employers usually provide on-the-job training.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication ability
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to understand drawings and blueprints
  • Expert knowledge of the construction industry
  • Ability to lift weights to 50 pounds
  • Proficiency in negotiation
  • Keen attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • Exceptionally responsible 
  • Great communication and leadership skills 
  • Able to oversee all operations at a worksite and ensuring a safe work environment 
  • Proven experience as a construction foreman 
  • An in-depth knowledge of construction procedures, equipment, and OSHA guidelines

Typical work environment

Many construction foremen have a main office but spend most of their time in a field office onsite where they oversee projects and make decisions about construction activities. Some construction foremen oversee multiple projects and are required to visit different construction sites. Depending on the worksite, this may require traveling out of state or being away from home for extended periods of time. A typical day for a construction foreman consists of strong and clear communication with supervisors and workers.

Typical hours

Construction foremen often work regular hours, from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, but they might need to be available in the evenings or on weekends to meet project deadlines. They frequently log more than 40 hours a week.

Available certifications

Obtaining professional certification as a construction foreman is not required however, certifications do help demonstrate a particular level of knowledge and experience. Check out the following: 

  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM). The certified construction manager (CCM) recognizes professionals who have chosen a career in construction management. Certified construction managers are committed to excellence in construction management/project management, career development, and the pursuit of knowledge. They provide professional services which apply effective management techniques to the planning, design, and construction of a project from inception to completion to control time, cost, and quality. Candidates must meet education and experience requirements and pass a technical exam. Candidates must also complete a self-study course that covers topics related to construction managers including the manager’s role, legal issues, and risk allocation. Renewal is required every 3 years.
  • OSHA Outreach Training Program Certificate. The OSHA Outreach Training Program provides workers with basic and more advanced training about common safety and health hazards on the job. Its purpose is to promote workplace safety and health and to make workers more knowledgeable about workplace hazards and their rights. The 10-hour training program is primarily intended for entry-level workers. The 30-hour training program is intended to provide workers with some safety responsibility and a greater depth and variety of training. All outreach training is intended to cover an overview of the hazards a worker may encounter on a job site. Training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, and control and prevention.

Career path

The first step to becoming a construction foreman is to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Graduates who go on to receive vocational training or an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, ideally in a construction-related field, will enjoy greater career flexibility. Most employers expect foremen to have several years of industry experience, and they frequently provide on-the-job training to meet their specific needs.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-9021

2020 Employment448,000
Projected Employment in 2030499,000
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift51,400 increase

Population growth means that construction-related jobs, and Foremen in particular, will continue to be in demand. Maintenance, improvements, and construction of roads and bridges also will create more job opportunities. The emphasis on environmentally friendly development and energy efficiency should give the industry a boost as well.

Job prospects in the construction industry tend to ebb and flow with the economy. The Construction Management Association of America offers career coaching, a learning center, and job listings for candidates.