The Making of a Leader: 6 Qualities of a Good Site Foreman or Foreperson


Are you interested in leadership roles in the building and construction industry?

If so, then becoming a foreman or foreperson could be the right career for you.

In this article, we reveal the top skills and traits that a good foreperson needs to be an effective leader.

Read on to learn more about this exciting professional role as you consider whether you have what it takes to become a construction foreperson.

What is a foreman or foreperson?

Before we delve into the qualities needed to become a good foreperson, let’s brush up on what a foreperson actually is.

A site foreman or a construction foreman is a building and construction worker who looks after a construction crew at a building site.

“Foreman” and “foreperson” mean the same thing. But foreperson is becoming more common these days, as both men and women perform this role today.

Unlike tradies such as carpenters and plumbers who work “on the tools”,  a site foreman works “off the tools.” In other words, a foreperson doesn’t work with their hands as much as tradies and labourers do.

Instead, a foreperson gives instructions, works on plans, sets deadlines and manages budgets.

A foreperson also works closely with other site supervisors, construction managers, project managers and developers.

Qualities of a Foreman

6 Qualities of a foreperson

1. Good at communicating

As a foreperson is in charge of a team, you’ll need to have excellent communication skills.

You need to be able to read and write at the year 10 level at the minimum.

You also need to be able to get on well with people, to explain things clearly, and to resolve disputes effectively.

2. Very organised

As a construction foreman, you’ll be handling many different tasks.

You need to consider budgets and supplies of building materials, while making sure that the building project is running on time.

With so many balls to juggle, a good foreman will have exceptional organisational skills.

3. Has time management skills

Similarly,  you need to be great at making sure all tasks and duties are performed within an acceptable timeframe.

Time management skills don’t come naturally for many people, but they can be learnt and developed through proper training such as by doing building and construction courses (more on these below).

4. Is a licenced builder

To become a foreman in Australia, you absolutely must be qualified with the right licence or registration.

In Victoria, this means getting your builders registration with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

As a licenced builder, you’ll have the proper credentials to perform the role of foreperson knowing that you can do a great job and work effectively with your crew.

5. Resilient

As you can see, a good foreperson needs to have a lot of skills and qualifications because they do a role with great responsibility.

This is why a foreperson or foreman salary can be so high.

According to Seek, the average foreperson salary in Australia in 2022 is $135,000 per year.

It isn’t any wonder why you need to have the resilience to get through time pressures and tight deadlines while keeping a cool head.

6. Fit & healthy

Just like many other building and construction careers, the role of foreperson is performed on a building site.

A foreman’s day-to-day involves being on the site alongside the other workers and moving around from place to place.

While it isn’t as physically demanding as a tradie or labourer job, the foreperson role still requires you to be physically fit and healthy.

Qualities of a Foreman in Construction

How to develop your skills to become a foreman in Australia

To become a foreman or foreperson, you’ll need to do a building and construction course such as a certificate or diploma.

It’s not essential to be a qualified tradie beforehand, but many people do choose to become tradies first so they can learn what it’s like to be on the tools before managing a crew who are on the tools themselves.

Regardless of whether you want to work in the trades first or not, you can train to be a foreperson by doing a CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building). This teaches you how to supervise or manage low rise residential construction projects.

If you want to up your game and work on mid to high rise residential projects, you could skip the Certificate IV and go straight to the CPC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building).

Don’t forget that you will also need your builders registration from the VBA.

If you do your Cert 4 or Diploma with us, you get a free Builders Registration Mentoring Program.

This is where we pair you up with a construction expert so they can help you make your builders registration application for the best chance at success.

The VBA application is expensive and time consuming, so you want to pass itt the first time to avoid paying extra or waiting longer before you can work.

Become a foreperson for free in 2022

Both our CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) and CPC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) are covered by the government’s free TAFE program, meaning you could be eligible to become a foreperson without paying school fees.

Study to become a construction foreperson at Builders Academy Australia and you’ll learn from the best as you train for a career in this exciting leadership role.

Not sure if you’re eligible for Free TAFE? Speak to a course advisor today on 1300 534 363 (LEGEND) or complete the online form, and we’ll get back to you.