Highway Maintenance Workers

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Also known as:
Highway Maintainer, Highway Maintenance Crew Worker, Highway Worker, Lane Marker Installer, Road Patcher, Road Sign Installer

ABOUT HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE WORKER CAREERS
Video transcript

Highways are an essential part of America. All across the country, people use highway to travel to work, for vacations, to visit family, and even just to go shopping. Because of this, out nation's roads are in constant need of maintenance. Snow, storms, and heavy equipment also add to the burden.

Highway maintenance workers keep our nation in gear, by repairing and restoring these roads. These men and women patch damaged pavement, erect guardrails, and establish highway markers to improve safety. They also clear brush and plant trees - making traveling not only safer - but more pleasant as well.

Many of them are employed by state and local governments. On the job, they develop skills with an array of tools, including posthole diggers, power tools, picks, and saws. In some areas of the country, highway maintenance workers make repairs on airport runways.

This job is good for people who like physical activity, the outdoors, and a certain amount of freedom from the everyday workplace. Highway maintenance workers have the satisfaction of knowing that after a good day's work, they may have helped prevent an accident - or at least made travel a little more pleasant.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
MED
Daily tasks

Erect, install, or repair guardrails, road shoulders, berms, highway markers, warning signals, and highway lighting, using hand tools and power tools.

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.

Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.

Inspect, clean, and repair drainage systems, bridges, tunnels, and other structures.

Haul and spread sand, gravel, and clay to fill washouts and repair road shoulders.

Flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead.

Remove litter and debris from roadways, including debris from rock and mud slides.

Drive trucks to transport crews and equipment to work sites.

Dump, spread, and tamp asphalt, using pneumatic tampers, to repair joints and patch broken pavement.

Set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.

Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
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 Material 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.
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.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
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.
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.
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.
TOP SKILLS
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation 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.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.