A piping foreman is the person in charge of a crew that installs pipes, usually on an oil rig or other drilling platform. He or she is responsible for all aspects of the piping project team, including scheduling, maintenance, installation, removal, safety, and so on. In many cases, the piping foreman may have a hand in hiring and firing employees, or even promoting them to other positions. This person will have many years of experience and plenty of specific knowledge about piping and the processes associated with it.
In most cases, a person who becomes a piping foreman has worked in the industry for many years and has developed skill, knowledge, and relationships. He or she is responsible for all aspects of the piping project, and it is likely that the piping foreman will work with other planners, suppliers, or even engineers to ensure the project gets completed properly. The foreman is likely to be responsible for acquiring and arranging transport of all necessary equipment and materials to complete the job, and the piping foreman will be responsible should something go wrong with the operation. Safety is an important facet of the foreman's job, as he must ensure employees are operating in safe conditions at all times. Regular safety checks are often part of his job.
The foreman must report to higher level managers to show the progress of the project and indicate if any problems have arisen. It is also common for the foreman to be responsible for keeping the project within the projected budget, or to secure more funds for the project if necessary. He or she is essentially responsible for all aspects of the piping project, and will have a hand in day to day operations as well as long-term planning and execution of projects. Foremen are managers first, however, and they often must address employee issues such as scheduling and payroll.
In the past, little or no formal education was necessary to become a piping foreman; in an increasingly competitive field, however, candidates who possess a bachelor's degree or higher will have the upper hand in securing a position. It is still possible for a worker to work his way up through the ranks to become a foreman, but that person will need to exhibit all the skills necessary to do the job effectively and work exceptionally hard for many years to obtain the position.