The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement and repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear brush from along road, or plow snow from roadway.
Sample of reported job titles:
Equipment Operator (EO), Highway Maintainer, Highway Maintenance Crew Worker, Highway Maintenance Technician, Highway Maintenance Worker, Maintenance Technician, Maintenance Worker, Transportation Maintenance Operator, Transportation Maintenance Specialist (TMS), Transportation Worker
Set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.
Flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead.
Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.
Drive trucks to transport crews and equipment to work sites.
Erect, install, or repair guardrails, road shoulders, berms, highway markers, warning signals, and highway lighting, using hand tools and power tools.
Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.
Drive heavy equipment and vehicles with adjustable attachments to sweep debris from paved surfaces, mow grass and weeds, remove snow and ice, and spread salt and sand.
Haul and spread sand, gravel, and clay to fill washouts and repair road shoulders.
Inspect, clean, and repair drainage systems, bridges, tunnels, and other structures.
Remove litter and debris from roadways, including debris from rock and mud slides.
Dump, spread, and tamp asphalt, using pneumatic tampers, to repair joints and patch broken pavement.
Perform roadside landscaping work, such as clearing weeds and brush, and planting and trimming trees.
Apply poisons along roadsides and in animal burrows to eliminate unwanted roadside vegetation and rodents.
Measure and mark locations for installation of markers, using tape, string, or chalk.
Paint traffic control lines and place pavement traffic messages, by hand or using machines.
Apply oil to road surfaces, using sprayers.
Inspect markers to verify accurate installation.
Place and remove snow fences used to prevent the accumulation of drifting snow on highways.
Blend compounds to form adhesive mixtures used for marker installation.
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Detailed Work Activities
Maintain mechanical equipment.
Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment.
Install fencing or other barriers.
Remove debris or vegetation from work sites.
Move construction or extraction materials to locations where they are needed.
Operate equipment or vehicles to clear construction sites or move materials.
Spread sand, dirt or other loose materials onto surfaces.
Clean equipment or facilities.
Compact materials to create level bases.
Inspect industrial or commercial equipment to ensure proper operation.
Maintain plumbing structures or fixtures.
Pour materials into or on designated areas.
Spread concrete or other aggregate mixtures.
Treat greenery or surfaces with protective substances.
Mark reference points on construction materials.
Measure work site dimensions.
Operate road-surfacing equipment.
Dismantle equipment or temporary structures.
Inspect completed work to ensure proper installation.
Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 94% responded “Every day.”
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 86% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 86% responded “Every day.”
Exposed to Contaminants — 76% responded “Every day.”
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 69% responded “Every day.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 84% responded “Extremely important.”
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 50% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 68% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 60% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 51% responded “More than half the time.”
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Consequence of Error — 55% responded “Extremely serious.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Very important.”
Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — 65% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 46% responded “High responsibility.”
Spend Time Standing — 24% responded “About half the time.”
Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 38% responded “Very high responsibility.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 68% responded “Important results.”
Deal With External Customers — 54% responded “Very important.”
Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
Time Pressure — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 49% responded “Every day.”
Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Every day.”
In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 62% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 38% responded “Every day.”
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 46% responded “Every day.”
Telephone — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Coordinate or Lead Others — 58% responded “Very important.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 47% responded “Some freedom.”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 21% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
Spend Time Walking and Running — 28% responded “Less than half the time.”
Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 27% responded “Very important.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 39% responded “Some freedom.”
Level of Competition — 26% responded “Slightly competitive.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 99% responded “40 hours.”
- Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
- These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
- Related Experience
- Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
- Job Zone Examples
- These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
- SVP Range
- 3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)
Training & Credentials
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
Less than high school diploma required
Associate’s degree required
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2021)
- $22.06 hourly, $45,880 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 153,800 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data
external site and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings