Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
49-9097.00 - Signal and Track Switch Repairers

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 Maintainer, Train Control Electronic Technician, Signal Inspector, Signalman, Train Control Technician, Signal and Communications Maintainer, Signal Supervisor, Signal Technician, Signal Maintenance Technician, Signal System Testing Maintainer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

Work Activities

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
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 of materials.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

back to top

Work Context

Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — How often does this job require working in a closed vehicle or equipment (e.g., car)?
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — How often does this job require exposure to hazardous equipment?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Consequence of Error — How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

There are 2 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Electric-Track-Switch Maintainer; Signal Maintainer

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

back to top

Education


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

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

Related Occupations

49-2092.00 Electric Motor, Power Tool, and Related Repairers
49-2094.00 Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment   Green Occupation Green
49-3023.01 Automotive Master Mechanics Bright Outlook
49-3031.00 Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists Green Occupation
49-3041.00 Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service Technicians
49-9012.00 Control and Valve Installers and Repairers, Except Mechanical Door
49-9021.01 Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
49-9041.00 Industrial Machinery Mechanics Bright Outlook Green Occupation
49-9071.00 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook   Green Occupation
51-8021.00 Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators Green Occupation

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $26.66 hourly, $55,450 annual
Employment (2012) 9,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Little or no change (-2% to 2%) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 2,100
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Signal and Track Switch Repairers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

back to top