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Traffic Signal Technician

Maintain, repair and reset traffic lights to keep the flow of drivers safe.

What does a Traffic Signal Technician do?

It’s uncanny the way red lights always pop up when you’re already late. If you’ve always been curious about this phenomenon, the job of a Traffic Signal Technician might be an interesting choice for you. As a Traffic Signal Technician, you work with the traffic lights of a town or city, coordinating and adjusting them based on the number of drivers in the area.

As any driver knows, some areas are more heavily traveled than others. When traffic lights don’t reflect this information, backups happen. And this is where the Traffic Signal Technician comes in.

What’s an average day like?

You analyze the flow of traffic in different areas, and update lights to reflect the flow. To get your information, you set up traffic counters (those black wires that lie across a road) and look at previous data to predict if more cars are using the road, or if the number of drivers is the same or dropping.

Once you have an idea of how many cars can be expected in one area, you use specific computer programs to time when lights will change. Say, for example, an east-west road is heavily traveled by commuters coming off and on to a highway. You rig the lights in the area to have them stay green longer in those directions than for the smaller north-south roads.

Why does this job matter?

Due to accidents, natural disasters, or technology failures, traffic signals can break. Luckily for all the drivers on the road, your work keeps the lights up and running and traffic flowing.