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Job Description for a Civil Foreman

by Alice Stuart

Civil foremen supervise a construction site and oversee the day-to-day operations of the building crew. They produce daily updates to the engineer or manager in charge of the project and resolve issues that arise with the work. Civil foremen work on different kinds of building projects, depending on their past work experience.

Required Education and Training

The civil foreman has great responsibility on the building site. There is no minimum required educational experience to become a civil foreman, although many employers prefer candidates with a four-year degree in construction science or a related field. Alternatively, some employers accept those with an associate degree in construction management or a related field and experience managing a work site. Foremen are workers with extensive experience, most of whom have worked as assistant foremen or construction managers previously.

Construction Manager Certification

Some employers prefer to hire civil foremen with certification in construction management. This certification is available through the Construction Management Association of America. To qualify, you need either a four-year degree or an associate degree in construction science or a related field, as well as four years or more of relevant work experience. You also need to pass the exam, which takes five hours to complete. A study guide and review materials are available on the CMAA website.

Supervisory Duties

The primary responsibility of the civil foreman is to ensure that work progresses safely and on schedule. They provide daily reports to the engineer responsible for the project and schedule deliveries and contractors as required. Civil foremen also are responsible for the safety of the work site and provide training for the workers if required. Another important duty of the civil foreman is to manage permits to ensure that everything is legal and in order.

Hands-On Work Responsibilities

Although the civil foreman holds a supervisory role by definition, a successful foreman has the ability to step in and work with the crew if necessary. In addition, a thorough knowledge of the work processes and technologies used in the specific building project is essential for effective project management. The civil foreman creates the schedule of work for the building project, which requires a knowledge of how long each aspect of the construction takes.

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