what is a foreman?

A foreman directs and supervises workers in a particular profession or business. As a foreman, you are responsible for training, motivating, and managing your workers. You also communicate work instructions and ensure the work is on time and within budget.

You need several years of experience in the relevant field to be a foreman. You should also have formal education and training. Depending on the industry, you will need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, a certification or license, or a master’s degree. It is also essential to have skills such as leadership, good communication, organization, problem-solving, and attention to detail.

Working as a foreman gives you the satisfaction of seeing a project from start to finish and motivating your team to achieve common goals. You are able to influence the quality and efficiency of the work.

Would working as a foreman suit your passion for leading and coordinating a team of skilled workers in various construction projects? Then read on to find what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a foreman role.

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average foreman salary

The average salary of a foreman in the United States varies depending on the industry, location, experience, and skills of the foreman.

The average salary for a construction foreman ranges from $74,597 to $93,238 per year, depending on their years of experience in the field.

According to Employment and Wages, Annual Averages 2021, a U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics publication, the average annual wage for first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction employees was $72,510. This includes foremen who supervise and manage the activities of construction or extraction workers. The average hourly wage for this occupation was $34.86 in 2021.

Wondering what you can earn as a foreman? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of a foreman is.

smiling male standing by train at station
smiling male standing by train at station

types of foremen

Different types of foremen work in various industries with specific duties and responsibilities. Some examples of the kinds of foremen are:

  • construction foreman: As a construction foreman, you lead construction workers on projects such as building roads or residential developments. You are responsible for completing the project on time.
  • energy foreman: You work in the energy industry and supervise workers in charge of installing, maintaining, and repairing solar panels, power lines, etc.
  • warehouse foreman: As a warehouse foreman, you are responsible for managing workers in a warehouse or distribution center. You oversee the arrival, storing, and shipping of goods.
  • media foreman: You work in the media industry and manage the crew handling the lights, cameras, sound, and editing.
  • transportation foreman: As a transportation foreman, you coordinate the drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, and other personnel who run and repair vehicles such as buses, railroads, and trucks, among others.
  • business foreman: You are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a department or team, such as accountancy, marketing, or sales.
  • electric foreman: You are in charge of supervising a team of electricians that construct, maintain, and repair electrical systems in houses, buildings, and other structures.

working as a foreman

What does it take to become a foreman? If you want to pursue a career as a foreman, it's essential to understand the skills, qualifications, and experience required for this role. Read on to discover what you need to be a foreman.


foreman skills and education

To become a foreman, you need the following:

  • a high school diploma: This is the minimum education requirement.
  • a degree or certificate in a construction-related field: Some employers who want a foreman with formal education and training will require you to have certifications such as architecture or engineering.
  • a driver’s license: This allows you to drive vehicles or operate machinery on the job site.
  • a license in a specific trade: To work in certain firms, you need to have proven skills and knowledge in a specific career, such as plumbing or electrical.
  • a CPR and first aid certification: Some employers may require you to have this certification to provide emergency care to workers injured on the job site.

skills and competencies

As a foreman, you should have technical and soft skills to perform your duties effectively. Some of these skills are:

  • organizational skills: You plan and organize daily work, allocate duties, manage resources, and track progress.
  • problem-solving skills: You detect and address concerns on the job site, such as delays, accidents, disagreements, or mistakes.
  • communication skills: Your job is to speak effectively and politely with clients, employees, contractors, and other stakeholders. You also report on the state of the project and provide feedback.
  • leadership skills: You encourage and inspire teams, give training and advice, enforce rules and standards, and resolve disagreements.
  • technical skills: As a foreman, you should be knowledgeable and skilled in your chosen profession or field. You must also be familiar with the tools, machinery, and equipment.
blue-collar workers taking a break
blue-collar workers taking a break

FAQs about working as a foreman

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about foremen.

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