Electrical foreman are supervisory electricians who oversee planning and implementation of large electrical projects. Formal education is not necessarily required, but completion of an apprenticeship is a typical way of gaining appropriate experience and licensure in this field.
An electrical foreman plans and manages electrical building projects and supervises personnel. This requires meeting with clients, as well as establishing a proper budget for the project. This job does not require any formal education; however, prospective candidates must complete an apprenticeship and have 4-7 years of experience as an electrician before applying for a license in their specialty area. This job might appeal to individuals with interests in construction, electricity/lighting, and business.
|Required Education||High school diploma, electrician apprenticeship|
|Additional Requirements||4-7 years work experience as an electrician, license in area of expertise|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||14% (electricians); 5% (construction managers)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$51,880 (electricians); $87,400 (construction managers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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An electrical foreman is in charge of large and complex projects that employ many different electricians at the same time, and supervises the project as a whole, from the large-scale down to the details. On such a project, a foreman is responsible for providing on-site direction and leadership for workers in order to complete jobs within specific guidelines that include quality standards, time requirements, and budget considerations.
A foreman may be responsible for many different aspects of the job, including planning, customer relations, material management, and quality control. Depending on the employer, a foreman may also be responsible for training employees or overseeing apprenticeship programs.
Managing a team, evaluating employees' progress, training new team members, attending meetings, identifying conflicts, and resolving problems are all personnel responsibilities that an electrical foreman may have. Other work responsibilities often include organizing and planning a construction project, directing work, inspecting installations for quality, making sure code standards are met, and ensuring job safety.
Electrical foremen are generally required to have an active license as a journeyman or master electrician in the specialty area in which they will work and knowledge of the National Electrical Code. Many employers, especially those with large projects, may choose to hire foremen with prior supervisory experience. Employers may promote employees to the position of foreman after they have demonstrated their capability working at lower levels in the company.
To become a licensed journeyman or master electrician, prospective electrical foremen normally complete an electrician's apprenticeship and acquire four to seven years of experience as electricians. Prospective electricians who wish to complete a college degree at the same time as their apprenticeship may choose to enroll in a National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee program.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to electrical foremen, it does publish data for both construction managers and electricians. The BLS projects that the employment of construction managers will grow at an average rate of 5% from 2014 to 2024, while electricians will enjoy faster-than-average job growth of 14% during that same time period. While construction managers earned a median annual salary of $87,400 in May 2015, electricians earned a median of $51,880 the same year, per the BLS.
You might consider a career as an electrician foreman if you have experience as an electrician, and enjoy taking on leadership and management responsibilities. While no formal education is required, you should complete an apprenticeship and have years of experience and a specialty license. Job growth for electricians is expected to be faster than average over the next decade.