A construction foreman is an essential element of a successful job site. They are managers typically in direct contact with construction workers, and so must be able to communicate well with people in positions above and below. A foreman’s exact job responsibilities depend on the type of construction project, as well as their individual training and experience. However, regardless of other factors, a foreman is the glue that holds a construction site together.
If you’re looking to move up the construction career ladder, foreman is likely the logical next step. Foremen must be capable of setting daily priorities, delegating duties, verifying equipment and tools are available, and helping construction employees work smoothly together. If problems arise, the foreman will have to adapt quickly to address staffing and productivity needs. If you’re ready to take on these responsibilities, here’s where you need to focus your energy in order to land that promotion.
Get additional degrees or certifications
In most cases, a track record of proven experience trumps anything on paper, but if you want the decision-makers to see you as foreman material, getting a degree in construction management, construction science, architecture or engineering certainly helps. An advanced education lets your boss know that you are capable of handling new responsibilities. Leadership trainings or certifications show that you are serious about moving up and shouldering the responsibility of managing people and projects.
Brush up on those communication skills
It probably sounds cliché at this point, but strong communication skills really are the foundation to a leadership position. Foremen have to communicate with day laborers, skilled tradesmen, project managers and CEOs every day. Focusing on building your communication skills shows those above that you can guide and direct those below. When you demonstrate that you can facilitate teamwork, like getting the electrician and the HVAC technician to work harmoniously in the same space, you demonstrate that you’re an effective foreman.
Plot out your goals
In order to move into management, you need to know how to get there. What milestones do you need to achieve to become a foreman? Be sure to commit yourself to a specific time frame and work toward achieving specific goals to get you there. Plot your course over six months, one year, three years and fives years. This is important – start at five and work your way back. Where do you want to be in five years, and what must you accomplish to get there?
Network with everyone – from heavy equipment operators to carpenters
Build your network. Make a good impression on temporary workers who may go on to companies actively searching for a management candidate just like you. A strong network isn’t just about quantity; it’s mostly about quantity. It’s better by far to be known by a few people for excellent work, then by a ton of people for a mediocre job. Networking is not only key to staying up-to-date on foremen openings, but also being recommended for them.
Rub elbows with upper management
If the HR manager and the CEO don’t know who you are, how can you expect them to promote you to foreman? Make your presence known! Be proactive when and where you can – participate or lead meetings, hand-deliver files and documents and deliver project updates in person. Don’t overstep with your current foreman, but take any appropriate opportunity you can to engage with the hiring team.
When most construction workers are ready to move up, it’s often because they are bored or stagnant in their position. The most important thing to remember here is to not burn out. If you slack in productivity, you definitely won’t be considered for a foreman position. Instead, see this as an ideal way to create your own employment. Need help getting started? Give the elite recruiters at CCS Construction Staffing a call. We can find positions with the industry-leading construction firms looking for potential foreman just like you.