Lead plumbers/foremen are responsible for overseeing the installation of entire plumbing systems, including managing a team of plumbers to ensure that they meet all safety and efficiency standards in a timely manner. They must also assess the necessary types and amounts of different materials and supplies to carry out projects.
Lead plumbers/foremen are often under the direction of a supervisor or manager of a larger plumbing company which has been contracted for a project, and the contractor who hired the plumbing company may instruct the lead plumber/foreman on the specifications for the system being installed. As such, communication skills are important in this position to work well with supervisors and contractors and provide progress reports, as well as for assigning tasks to individual plumbers and interacting with suppliers of necessary supplies and equipment for projects.
Those in this position spend considerable time planning and scheduling tasks and modifying these plans in case complications arise. The ability to respond quickly to problems and find solutions is important in this position, as are strong analytical skills and the ability to make sound decisions under pressure. Lead plumbers/foremen typically work long hours during projects and regularly attend work-sites to communicate with plumbers and monitor the testing of completed parts of the system.
A high school diploma and years of experience as a plumber are generally required for this position, and some employers also require prior experience in a supervisory capacity. Knowledge of building and plumbing codes and the ability to understand building plans are also essential.
Lead Plumber / Foreman Tasks
- Install pipe assemblies, appliances such as dishwashers, and fixtures such as sinks or toilets.
- Observe pressure gauges to detect and repair and leaks.
- Assemble pipe sections, tubings, and fittings.