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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 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

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect and test operation, mechanical parts, and circuitry of gate crossings, signals, and signal equipment such as interlocks and hotbox detectors. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect switch-controlling mechanisms on trolley wires and in track beds, using hand tools and test equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Drive motor vehicles to job sites. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Tighten loose bolts, using wrenches, and test circuits and connections by opening and closing gates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect electrical units of railroad grade crossing gates and repair loose bolts and defective electrical connections and parts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Replace defective wiring, broken lenses, or burned-out light bulbs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Record and report information about mileage or track inspected, repairs performed, and equipment requiring replacement. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect, maintain, and replace batteries as needed. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Lubricate moving parts on gate-crossing mechanisms and swinging signals. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean lenses of lamps with cloths and solvents. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain high tension lines, de-energizing lines for power companies when repairs are requested. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test air lines and air cylinders on pneumatically operated gates. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

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

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Facilities management software — Maintenance management software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. See more occupations related to this 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

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

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

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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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain work equipment or machinery. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect mechanical equipment to locate damage, defects, or wear. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust the tension of nuts or bolts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Test electrical circuits or components for proper functioning. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Control power supply connections. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect electrical or electronic systems for defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Drive trucks or other vehicles to or at work sites. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect equipment to locate or identify electrical problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repair electrical circuits or wiring. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record information about parts, materials or repair procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

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

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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, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


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

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Credentials

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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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

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

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

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $29.15 hourly, $60,640 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
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
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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