Job Description for a Civil Foreman

Civil foremen manage large public construction projects like water towers. They are team leaders, supervising crews of workers to ensure that projects proceed smoothly. A civil foreman contributes the knowledge gained from education and work site experience to see to it that the crew is working safely and efficiently to complete projects on time. Examples of essential foreman skills include leadership, problem solving and communication.

Civil Foreman Education and Experience

A high school diploma is generally the minimum educational requirement to be a civil foreman. Earning a bachelor's degree in engineering, architecture and construction science is increasingly common and sets a candidate apart from other applicants. Some employers look for civil foreman with cutting-edge skills in the latest technologies. Civil foremen need several years of experience before taking on the position. With enough on-the-job experience, education may not be as important when seeking the position depending on the type and scope of the project.

Civil Foreman Skills

Not everyone with a construction background can become a foreman. It takes a unique set of skills and professional dispositions. Key civil foreman skills include math ability, leadership, problem-solving and trade mastery, according to Indeed Career Guide. They must have strong people skills to communicate and resolve issues with crew members, suppliers and subcontractors. Other requirements include strong troubleshooting skills and an ability to delegate work appropriately.

Civil Foreman Duties

A civil foreman manages workers, motivating them to complete projects on schedule. The foreman ensures that the crew complies with site rules and regulations while monitoring their work quality. Foremen also collaborate with clients, suppliers and other stakeholders to ensure all aspects of the project proceed as planned. Civil foremen read blueprints and construction plans, maintain equipment and manage paperwork. They may also work on the project site alongside the crew.

Civil Forman Work Setting

Civil foreman often receive training as assistant foremen before assuming the lead role. Training typically occurs on-the-job, where they learn how to execute various construction tasks and get a handle on the business basics. Civil foremen tend to work full-time hours, with overtime frequently needed to deal with emergency situations and deadlines. Some of the work is done away from the construction site in offices, such as for conducting meetings or completing paperwork.

Salary and Future Demand

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, reported in 2020 that construction managers like civil foremen earned a median annual salary of ​$97,180​ per year, or ​$46.72​ per hour. Highly skilled construcction managers at the top of their profession earned upwards of ​$169,170​ per year.

As the infrastructure ages, the need for retrofitting and renovation projects will increase, which will in turn drive the demand for construction managers like civil foremen. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, projects a 11 percent increase in employment for workers in this field between 2020 and 2030, which is just a little above the 8 percent national average for all occupations. More openings will become available as other civil foremen retire, especially for candidates with post-secondary degrees.

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