What does a Maintenance Foreman do?

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  • Written By: Paul Scott
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2019
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In most company human resource structures, the maintenance foreman is a supervisory or senior supervisory position responsible for managing all maintenance staff, overseeing all maintenance work, and assisting with the planning, logistics and administration of the maintenance department. Depending on company staffing structures, the maintenance foreman may also be responsible for the training, safety, and human relations needs of maintenance staff. A maintenance foreman is typically required to have excellent inter-personal and management skills and an extensive knowledge of the systems, legal requirements, equipment, and installations involved in the relevant industry.

Maintenance departments tend to represent one of the most difficult working environments in any industry. As a service department, the average maintenance outfit is tasked daily with meeting the needs and expectations of the entire company structure. This places considerable pressure on the maintenance foreman or manager in particularly and all his or her staff in general. The very nature of the maintenance field makes it a fast moving, dynamic, and stressful environment and a maintenance foreman needs, perhaps above all else, to be able to work well under pressure.


The maintenance foreman job description is not one that makes for easy generalization. Each industry will have its own unique requirements of its maintenance departments. This is especially true of general maintenance fields such as apartment buildings, hotels, and resorts where the maintenance department may have to deal with a multitude of technical disciplines. The specific company’s staffing structure also plays a large role in how far the foreman’s job overlaps that of a senior manager. In smaller companies where there is no dedicated maintenance manager, the foreman typically reports to a member of executive management and may then be expected to discharge responsibilities such as budget control and planning, staffing issues, ordering, loss control, and industrial relations.

Generally speaking, a maintenance foreman will be responsible for the following:

  • Supervision of all maintenance staff on a daily basis and the quality control of all work
  • Planning for and allocation of all maintenance related work
  • Insuring that maintenance staff adhere to all company policies and procedures at all times.
  • Ensuring that all maintenance staff are adequately trained and informed of changes in work-related legislation
  • Planning and coordination of projects
  • General staff morale and discipline
  • Formulation of rosters and controlling staff timekeeping.
  • Accurate and concise reporting of all relevant issues to senior management
  • Purchasing and inventory control
  • Accurate record keeping
  • Coordination of maintenance requests and liaison with other company structures.

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Post 1

It's important to note that often, the maintenance supervisor will also be responsible for at least some of the maintenance. It's not a strictly managerial position that you would come into from another manager job, but something you would advance to after years of maintenance experience.

That's actually suggested by the word "foreman"; a foreman not only supervises, but also does the thing s/he is supervising.

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