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Signal and Track Switch Repairers
SOC Code: 49-9097.00

Install, inspect, test, maintain, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, signal equipment, track switches, section lines, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.

Sample of reported job titles: Signal and Communications Maintainer, Signal Inspector, Signal Maintainer, Signal Maintenance Technician, Signal Supervisor, Signal System Testing Maintainer, Signal Technician, Signalman, Train Control Electronic Technician, Train Control Technician

Tasks

  • Install, inspect, maintain, and repair various railroad service equipment on the road or in the shop, including railroad signal systems.
  • Inspect and test operation, mechanical parts, and circuitry of gate crossings, signals, and signal equipment such as interlocks and hotbox detectors.
  • Inspect switch-controlling mechanisms on trolley wires and in track beds, using hand tools and test equipment.
  • Drive motor vehicles to job sites.
  • Tighten loose bolts, using wrenches, and test circuits and connections by opening and closing gates.
  • Inspect electrical units of railroad grade crossing gates and repair loose bolts and defective electrical connections and parts.
  • Replace defective wiring, broken lenses, or burned-out light bulbs.
  • Record and report information about mileage or track inspected, repairs performed, and equipment requiring replacement.
  • Inspect, maintain, and replace batteries as needed.
  • Lubricate moving parts on gate-crossing mechanisms and swinging signals.
  • Clean lenses of lamps with cloths and solvents.
  • Maintain high tension lines, de-energizing lines for power companies when repairs are requested.
  • Test air lines and air cylinders on pneumatically operated gates.

Technology Skills

  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Facilities management software - Maintenance management software
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches - Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Ammeters - Clamp-on ammeters
  • Articulating boom lift - Articulating aerial lift equipment
  • Audio spectrum analyzer - Audio spectrum analyzers
  • Brush cutter - Brush cutting equipment
  • Closed circuit television CCTV system - Closed circuit television CCTV systems
  • Crimping pliers - Wire crimpers
  • Digital cameras - Digital still cameras
  • Forklifts - Wheel forklifts
  • Frequency analyzers - Spectrum analyzers
  • Hammers - Multipurpose hammers
  • Inkjet fax machine - Inkjet fax machines
  • Inkjet printers - Inkjet computer printers
  • Lifts - Mechanical lifts
  • Megohmmeters - Meggers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Oscilloscopes - Digital oscilloscopes
  • Passive infrared sensor - Hotbox detectors
  • Personal computers
  • Power drills
  • Power grinders
  • Rail joint gap gauge - Switch obstruction gauges
  • Rail switching systems - Switch machines
  • Relay tester - Relay testers
  • Screwdrivers - Multi-tip screwdrivers
  • Shovels
  • Slip joint pliers
  • Specialty wrenches - Terminal post wrenches
  • Stop watch - Digital timers
  • Voltage or current meters - Digital voltage meters; Frequency specific volt meters

Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Skills

  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Equipment Selection - Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Installation - Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • 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.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities

  • 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 there is a problem.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • 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).
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.

Interests

  • Interest code: RC
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 92% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 89% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 64% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Telephone - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 46% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 45% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 64% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 51% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 38% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 49% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 52% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 74% responded “40 hours.”
  • Exposed to High Places - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 36% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Electronic Mail - 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 47% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 42% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 38% responded “Important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 31% responded “Important.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 44% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 28% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
44%Associate's degree
32%Post-secondary certificate
13%High school diploma or equivalent

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • 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.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • 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.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • 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.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • 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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $32.88 hourly, $68,400 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 10,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 1,000

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