Landscape foremen are in charge of crews who perform landscaping work around houses, malls, hotels, buildings and other properties. These crews typically cut grass, trim weeds and shrubs, design and maintain features such as waterfalls or rock walls, and provide fertilizing, watering and planting services. Foremen may also head more complicated projects, including installing sprinkler or lighting systems.
Skills and Abilities
While formal education requirements for landscape foremen vary from one employer to the next, most employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent. Foremen usually begin as landscape workers until they gain the skills and expertise necessary to advance to a supervisory position. Foremen must have deep knowledge of different types of grasses and plants to ensure they grow properly. They need to be adept at using various tools and machines, including tractors, mowers, clippers, blowers, rakes and plows. At job sites, they may handle the application of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, so they must be knowledgeable about these products as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many states require those who apply pesticides to be licensed.
Plans and Preparation
A foreman's day usually starts with scheduling. He determines which projects are most important and in what order they should be completed, depending on the weather and available workers. The foreman might send workers to begin one job while he goes to a consultation for another. Foremen also visit new sites to meet with clients or designers, identify what pests or diseases are affecting the area, confirm which materials are needed to get the job done. They sometimes provide estimates on how much a particular job will cost.
Verification and Paperwork
If workers go to three different jobs, foremen inspect all three sites at the end of the day to ensure specifications are met. They also respond to any complaints regarding the work or their employees. For example, if customers call to report that a mow or trim was unsatisfactory, foremen either fix the problem themselves or dispatch workers to redo the job. Foremen also record all expenses and labor hours for each project, take inventory of materials and ensure equipment is maintained properly.
Income and Outlook
ONet OnLine recognizes landscape foremen under the broader job category of first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers. These supervisors earned a median annual income of $42,570 in 2013. ONet expects employment to increase 8 percent to14 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
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