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Polier [ poˈliːɐ̯ ] (South German also Palier ) is a professional designation in the construction industry for the manager of a construction site or a construction site section who acts as a link between the employees working on the construction site and the construction management .

Word origin

The term Polier goes back to late Middle High German parlierer . This word, which denoted the spokesman or person authorized to give instructions in the building works , is from the old French parlier 'spokesman; who speaks well or speaks a lot 'derived (compare French parler ), which characterizes the function of the foreman as speaker (superior) of the workers involved in the construction to this day. Another explanation traces the term back to the Latin politor 'middleman between landlords and farm laborers'.


The foreman is the authorized manager for the industrial employees of a construction site or a construction site section. He assigns the tasks to his employees and is responsible for the correct execution in terms of technology and timing. The supervisor of the foreman is the company site manager .

Foremen are used for structural and civil engineering work, sometimes also for extensive carpentry work , but also in road construction and civil engineering. On smaller construction sites without their own site manager, the foreman is often the mediator between his employer and architects , structural engineers and builders when it comes to implementation issues .

Planning documents

For the construction work, a foreman needs polishing plans (or work plans or implementation plans) that are created in connection with the implementation planning . These plans are usually drawn in building construction on a scale of 1:50, although other scales are also used for detailed plans.

Vocational training


The foreman is an employee according to collective bargaining law . He must have completed training in a construction profession and several years of professional experience. In individual cases, workers without a journeyman's certificate but with many years of professional experience can also be admitted to training for polishing.

The certified foreman qualification , which is state-recognized in Germany , is examined by the examination board of a chamber of crafts or an IHK . Before that, he must have completed around 600 hours of advanced training, for example in a training center for the construction industry. This course imparts knowledge in business administration, vocational and work pedagogy, law and social studies and contains a comprehensive subject-specific part.

Ranking of training:

  1. Master bricklayer and concrete worker / master industrialist Certified foreman (equivalent)
  2. Foreman
  3. foreman
  4. Specialist construction worker (bricklayer)


The advanced training to become a building foreman or building separating foreman takes place alongside work or full-time. The final exam is a professional exam . After passing the exam, the protected job title construction foreman with federal Qualifications are required.

The prerequisites for being admitted to the exam include: a .: (for details see regulation)

  • Federal certificate of proficiency in a construction profession,
  • four years of practical experience in a construction company, including at least three years as a foreman or foreman.

Alternative naming

Foremen in civil engineering and road construction are often referred to as miners .

Colloquially, foremen in southern Germany and Switzerland are also called Capo ( Italian for 'head').

See also

Web links



Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Pfeifer : Etymological Dictionary of German. 2 volumes. 2nd, reviewed and supplemented edition. Academy, Berlin 1993, p. 1024. So already in the Etymological Dictionary of the German Language, 18th edition. by Walther Mitzka , De Gruyter, Berlin 1960, p. 558.
  2. Kluge. Etymological dictionary of the German language . Arranged by Elmar Seebold . 25th, reviewed and expanded edition. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2011, p. 714.