Summary Report for:
53-6011.00 - Bridge and Lock Tenders
Operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages. May supervise such operations. Includes drawbridge operators, lock operators, and slip bridge operators.
Sample of reported job titles: Bridge Operator, Bridge Tender, Lock Tender
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
- Move levers to activate traffic signals, navigation lights, and alarms.
- Record names, types, and destinations of vessels passing through bridge openings or locks, and numbers of trains or vehicles crossing bridges.
- Control machinery to open and close canal locks and dams, railroad or highway drawbridges, or horizontally or vertically adjustable bridges.
- Direct movements of vessels in locks or bridge areas, using signals, telecommunication equipment, or loudspeakers.
- Prepare accident reports.
- Observe approaching vessels to determine size and speed, and listen for whistle signals indicating desire to pass.
- Observe position and progress of vessels to ensure best utilization of lock spaces or bridge opening spaces.
- Maintain and guard stations in bridges to check waterways for boat traffic.
- Inspect canal and bridge equipment, and areas such as roadbeds for damage or defects, reporting problems to supervisors as necessary.
- Clean and lubricate equipment, and make minor repairs and adjustments.
- Log data such as water levels and weather conditions.
- Write and submit maintenance work requisitions.
- Perform maintenance duties such as sweeping, painting, and yard work to keep facilities clean and in order.
- Check that bridges are clear of vehicles and pedestrians prior to opening.
- Turn valves to increase or decrease water levels in locks.
- Stop automobile and pedestrian traffic on bridges, and lower automobile gates prior to moving bridges.
- Raise drawbridges and observe passage of water traffic, then lower drawbridges and raise automobile gates.
- Operate lighthouses to assist marine passage near shores and dangerous waters.
- Add and remove balance weights to bridge mechanisms as necessary.
- Attach ropes or cable lines to bitts on lock decks or wharfs to secure vessels.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable wrenches
- Alarm systems — Intrusion alarms
- Automobiles or cars — Motor vehicles
- Binoculars — Surveillance binoculars
- Closed circuit television CCTV system — Closed circuit television CCTV monitoring systems
- Counter weight bag and counterweight — Balance weights
- Desktop computers
- Dock rings — Bitts
- Ear plugs — Hearing protectors
- Flares — Signal flares
- Gas generators — Gas powered generators
- Gate barrier systems — Traffic gates
- Grease guns — Grease dispensing guns
- Hand trucks or accessories — Hand trucks
- Hard hats
- Ladders — Step ladders
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Lawnmowers — Lawn mowers
- Life vests or preservers — Life jackets
- Lifting cables — Cable lines
- Loudspeakers — Loudspeaker warning system
- Marine craft communications systems — Very high frequency VHF radiotelephones
- Marine signaling systems — Signal bells; Signal flags
- Multi gas monitors — Gas detectors
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Putty knives
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Radar systems
- Roadway or highway lighting — Navigation lights; Span lights
- Safety boots — Safety-toe boots
- Safety glasses — Protective glasses
- Safety harnesses or belts — Fall protection equipment
- Sirens — Warning sirens
- Smoke detectors
- Snow blowers — Gas powered snow blowers
- Snowplow attachments — Snow plows
- Steel bridge — Electric drawbridges
- Storm lights — Spot lights
- Sump pumps
- Televisions — Television monitors
- Traffic cones or delineators — Traffic directional cones
- Traffic signals — Bridge traffic signals
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
- Vehicle horns — Warning horns
- Weather stations — Weather monitoring instruments
- Wire cutters — Wire cutting tools
- Wire rope — Wire ropes
- X ray radiography examination equipment — X ray scanners
Technology used in this occupation:
- 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.
- 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- 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.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- 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.
- 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.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Detailed Work Activities
- Monitor traffic signals.
- Monitor surroundings to detect potential hazards.
- Report vehicle or equipment malfunctions.
- Monitor vehicle movement or location.
- Operate communications equipment or systems.
- Control equipment that regulates vehicle traffic.
- Direct vehicle traffic.
- Control pumps or pumping equipment.
- Record operational details of travel.
- Arrange maintenance activities.
- Prepare accident or incident reports.
- Secure watercraft to docks, wharves or other vessels.
- Clean machinery or equipment.
- Clean facilities or work areas.
- Telephone — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 38% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 34% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Deal With External Customers — 31% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 34% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Standing — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Time Pressure — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Degree of Automation — 28% responded “Highly automated.”
- Letters and Memos — 31% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed|
|Education||Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.|
|Related Experience||Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter and rental clerks, nonfarm animal caretakers, continuous mining machine operators, and waiters/waitresses.|
|SVP Range||(Below 4.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|50||Less than high school diploma|
|39||High school diploma or equivalent|
|7||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: RCE
- 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.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- 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.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- 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 & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$23.14 hourly, $48,120 annual|
|Employment (2012)||4,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Decline (-3% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||1,400|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "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.