Working as a construction foreman can mean many different things. The salary and responsibilities vary depending on the size of the construction project being managed and the type of industry. For any job though, a construction foreman might be a good career choice for someone with experience in the construction industry, who enjoys the responsibility of a leadership role.
Construction foremen plan, organize and coordinate building projects from start to finish. They are responsible for budget, personnel, quality and customer service aspects. Construction foremen may work in many different settings, and job requirements vary depending on the employer. Some positions may require applicants to have an associate's degree in construction management or a related field. Supervisory experience as well as an understanding of carpentry, plumbing and/or electrical work could also be helpful.
|Required Education||Varies; a high school diploma with management and technical experience or an associate's degree in construction management|
|Projected Job Growth||(Construction Managers) 5% from 2014-2024*|
|Median Annual Salary (May, 2015)||(Construction Managers) $87,400*|
Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description for a Construction Foreman
Construction foreman may work on small projects in which they would need to employ only a few people or massive projects that might require thousands. Management responsibilities involve directing personnel to do their jobs in order to complete the project and may include training or discipline requirements.
Administrative responsibilities often involve planning and coordinating a job, ordering materials and managing manpower to ensure the job is completed on time and within budget. For construction foremen who are responsible directly to customers, such as contractors, customer service duties may include everything from selling a project to being personally responsible for its delivery. In other cases, foremen may have to give progress reports and tours to customers.
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Salary and Career Outlook for a Construction Foreman
In May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the median annual wage of a construction manager as $87,400. Most earned between $66,680 and $117,420 per year. In 2015, the industry employing the most construction managers was nonresidential building construction at 57,930 employees, followed by residential building contractors at 37,400 and building equipment contractors at 32,100. The BLS predicted average employment growth of 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
Career Requirements for a Construction Foreman
Construction foremen may receive their education from many different sources. Many employers require only that a foreman have a high school diploma, management experience and experience with some of the technical aspects of a project, such as carpentry, concrete work, plumbing and electrical work. Others prefer to hire foremen who have formal education, such as an associate's degree in construction management. Construction foremen may be required to work odd hours or travel for their jobs.
To summarize, both management experience and knowledge of some aspect of construction are required to become a construction foreman. These individuals oversee any size construction project, from planning to implementing and leading a team of workers. The salary can vary, but job growth in the coming decade is expected to be on par with the national average.