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Also known as:
Bridge Operator, Bridge Tender, Dam Tender, Lighthouse Keeper, Lock and Dam Operator
Bridge and lock tenders help commercials and pleasure boats navigate inland waterways. Many boats are too tall to pass underneath certain bridges. It's the bridge tender's responsibility to go through the procedures and operate the machinery needed to safely open bridges. This involves stopping traf ...
fic on the land as well. Once the boat has passed through, the tender closes the bridge, making sure to correctly lock it back in place. The tender then allows traffic over the bridge to resume.
Locks are used in canals to raise or lower water levels to enable boats to travel through areas of unequal elevation. Opening and closing the gates, as well as controlling the pumps, is the job of lock tenders. Bridge and lock tenders need to be conscientious dependable workers. They must be able to follow written instructions and read manuals. Tenders might be required to do maintenance and simple repairs.
Applicants should have a high school diploma or GED. Most employers look for additional experience in electrical or mechanical machinery and familiarity with a variety of hand and power tools. Knowledge of boats is a big plus. Most tenders are government employees. Depending on boat traffic patterns, the work can be full-time or seasonal. It can also be lonely and require working outdoors in all kinds of weather. Although it's not a glamorous job, a bridge or lock tender is a vital like in America's important transportation system.
Operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages. May supervise such operations. Includes drawbridge operators, lock operators, and slip bridge operators.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Prepare accident reports.
Maintain and guard stations in bridges to check waterways for boat traffic.
Inspect canal and bridge equipment, and areas such as roadbeds for damage or defects, reporting problems to supervisors as necessary.
Write and submit maintenance work requisitions.
Perform maintenance duties such as sweeping, painting, and yard work to keep facilities clean and in order.
Observe position and progress of vessels to ensure best utilization of lock spaces or bridge opening spaces.
Observe approaching vessels to determine size and speed, and listen for whistle signals indicating desire to pass.
Move levers to activate traffic signals, navigation lights, and alarms.
Record names, types, and destinations of vessels passing through bridge openings or locks, and numbers of trains or vehicles crossing bridges.
Control machinery to open and close canal locks and dams, railroad or highway drawbridges, or horizontally or vertically adjustable bridges.
Direct movements of vessels in locks or bridge areas, using signals, telecommunication equipment, or loudspeakers.
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.
Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
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.
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.