A civil foreman is a person who manages a construction crew that builds structures and other facilities. He or she will usually work with an engineer to design and plan the project, and is then responsible for carrying out those plans by managing a crew of workers. This person is involved with the entire construction process from start to finish, including hiring and firing employees, managing scheduling and payroll, arranging delivery of materials, keeping track of the budget, managing day to day events and actions, and so on.
As a manager, the civil foreman will report to the engineer and any other company managers above him. Daily contact is usually necessary between the foreman and his superiors to ensure the project is moving along as planned and to address any problems that may arise. The civil foreman must also deal with other direct aspects of the construction, such as acquiring project bids from skilled laborers, finding employees and hiring them, making a work schedule and adhering to it, ensuring employees get paid, and ensuring the project adheres to all laws, regulations, and other guidelines.
The safety of the crew is also the responsibility of the civil foreman. In many cases, laws have been developed in countries around the world to ensure worker safety, and the civil foreman must ensure compliance with such laws by providing safety equipment and training employees to adhere to safety regulations. In many cases, the foreman may be directly responsible for training workers in certain tasks, not only to ensure safety, but also to ensure quality workmanship. Compliance with various laws is a primary concern of the manager, and the foreman must know the laws well to prevent legal issues with a project.
While no formal education is necessary to obtain a job as a civil foreman, a competitive job market often favors the more educated candidate. Some employees can work their way up through the system, working lesser positions until they are chosen to lead a team, though others attend colleges or universities to study construction techniques and other sciences. A candidate who possesses a college degree has a leg up on the competition when applying for jobs, though again, it is very possible to simply work one's way up through the company if he or she exhibits leadership capabilities and a strong knowledge base for construction techniques and skills.