What is a Foreman?

A foreman is a worker who is in charge of organizing and supervising the work of a group of workers. Foremen provide reports to managers and others in the company structure, detailing the efficiency and general work habits of those who have been assigned to them. The exact responsibilities of the foreman will vary depending on the demands of the work environment. They are most commonly associated with industries related to construction or manufacturing.

The shop foreman is one of the most common types of foreman jobs. The shop foreman, who is commonly found in textile and other manufacturing plants, supervises the employees in charge of maintaining the facility, which usually includes the machinery used in the manufacturing process. The foreman will most likely report to a department supervisor and have the same authority within the plant as any of the shift supervisors in this structure. This includes the ability to schedule employees under his or her supervision, take disciplinary action as needed, and request additional employees or materials.

A job foreman’s responsibilities are likely to be similar to those of a shop foreman, but he or she may work in a different setting. This type of supervisor is commonly found in the construction or building industry. The job often entails supervising the execution and completion of various tasks that advance the construction project, as well as arranging work schedules, ordering and delivering supplies, and reporting progress to his or her superiors. A manager of this type, as in other settings, often has hiring and firing authority, allowing for the formation of a cohesive working group.

The electric foreman is a supervisor who, along with his or her support team, is in charge of any project tasks that require the use of electrical current. This can include things like installing or maintaining electrical wiring in a facility, troubleshooting special projects like temporary lighting for a special event, and ensuring that all electrical equipment in a facility is safe and up to code.

Often, a general foreman is in charge of multiple support teams. Due to the broad nature of the job responsibilities, this type of manager is likely to have credentials and experience in multiple fields. A general foreman, for example, may be knowledgeable in both general construction and electrical or plumbing systems.

While many employers value experience as a prerequisite for becoming a foreman, an increasing number are also demanding formal education in related fields. Successful completion of certified training programs related to job tasks, general related studies at a vocational school, or even a degree from a college or university are all examples of education. Employers frequently prefer to promote from within, and may help a promising candidate receive formal training in the hopes of one day advancing to foreman status within the company.