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Summary Report for:
47-4051.00 - Highway Maintenance Workers

Maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement, repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear brush from along road or plow snow from roadway.

Sample of reported job titles: Equipment Operator (EO), Heavy Equipment Operator, Highway Maintainer, Highway Maintenance Crew Worker, Highway Maintenance Technician, Highway Maintenance Worker, Highway Worker, Transportation Maintenance Operator, Transportation Maintenance Specialist (TMS), Truck Driver

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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

  • Flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead.
  • Set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.
  • Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.
  • Drive heavy equipment and vehicles with adjustable attachments to sweep debris from paved surfaces, mow grass and weeds, remove snow and ice, and spread salt and sand.
  • Drive trucks to transport crews and equipment to work sites.
  • Haul and spread sand, gravel, and clay to fill washouts and repair road shoulders.
  • Dump, spread, and tamp asphalt, using pneumatic tampers, to repair joints and patch broken pavement.
  • Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.
  • Remove litter and debris from roadways, including debris from rock and mud slides.
  • Erect, install, or repair guardrails, road shoulders, berms, highway markers, warning signals, and highway lighting, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Inspect, clean, and repair drainage systems, bridges, tunnels, and other structures.
  • Perform roadside landscaping work, such as clearing weeds and brush, and planting and trimming trees.
  • Inspect markers to verify accurate installation.
  • Paint traffic control lines and place pavement traffic messages, by hand or using machines.
  • Apply oil to road surfaces, using sprayers.
  • Measure and mark locations for installation of markers, using tape, string, or chalk.
  • Place and remove snow fences used to prevent the accumulation of drifting snow on highways.
  • Apply poisons along roadsides and in animal burrows to eliminate unwanted roadside vegetation and rodents.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Aggregate spreaders — Hydraulic spreaders; Sand spreaders; Stone box spreaders
  • Agricultural tractors — Berm drag tractors
  • Air compressors
  • All terrain cranes — 10-ton crawlers; Self-propelled cranes
  • Articulating boom lift — Bucket trucks; Cherry pickers
  • Axes — Bush axes
  • Barricades — Towable barricades
  • Bituminous material distributors — Bituminous pavers; Tar distributors; Windrow loaders
  • Blades or tooth or other cutting edges — Stump cutters
  • Bridge cranes — Snoopers
  • Burners — Oil heating burners
  • Cargo trucks — Gas transporters
  • Chip Spreaders
  • Circuit tester — Circuit testing equipment
  • Cold planers
  • Compactors
  • Concrete mixers or plants — Concrete mixers
  • Concrete spreaders — Power screeds
  • Conventional truck cranes — Boom trucks; Truck mounted cranes
  • Delivery trucks — Heavy trucks; Transport trucks
  • Derricks — Digger derricks
  • Desktop computers
  • Disks — Tractor disc attachments
  • Ditchers
  • Draglines
  • Drain or pipe cleaning equipment — Catch basin vacuum cleaners; Culvert cleaners; Sewer cleaners; Sewer eels
  • Dump trucks — 10-ton tandem-axle dump trucks; 8-ton dump trucks; Belly dump tractor trailers
  • Earthmoving buckets or its parts or accessories — 30-ton clam buckets
  • Flatbed trailers — Low boys
  • Forklifts
  • Front end loaders — Four-wheel drive front end loaders; Two-wheel drive front end loaders
  • Gas generators — Generators
  • Graders — 13000-23000 pound graders
  • Grouting machines — Pavement joint sealers
  • Hammers — Swiss hammers
  • Hand held rock drills — Rock drills
  • Hand sprayers — Epoxy guns
  • Harrows
  • Hydraulic pumps — High-pressure hydraulic pumps; Medium pressure hydraulic pumps; Paint transfer pumps
  • Hydraulic truck cranes — Wheeled hydraulic booms
  • Impact wrenches
  • Kettle exchangers — Tar kettles
  • Laser printers
  • Lasers — Graffiti removing lasers
  • Lawnmowers — Push mowers
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Light trucks
  • Low cab forward tractors — Truck low-bed trailer combos
  • Machetes
  • Measuring wheels for distance — Measuring wheels
  • Minivans or vans — Vans
  • Mobile excavators — Truck mounted excavators
  • Mowers — Rear brush hog mowers; Rear flail mowers; Side-mount rotary mowers; Tractor-mounted mowers
  • Mud pumps — Mud jacks
  • Non temperature controlled tanker trailers — Tanker trucks
  • Paint mixers
  • Paint sprayers — Paint guns; Thermoplastic applicators; Truck-mounted pavement striping machines
  • Paving breaker tools or accessories — Mounted pavement breakers
  • Paving breakers — Pavement grinders; Pothole excavation milling machines
  • Personal computers
  • Picks
  • Pile drivers
  • Platform lift — Platform trucks
  • Pneumatic hammer — Jackhammers
  • Pneumatic sanding machines — Sandblasters
  • Post hole digger — Hole diggers/augers
  • Power chippers — Brush chippers
  • Power saws — Chain saws; Concrete saws
  • Pressure or steam cleaners — Pressure washers; Steam cleaning equipment
  • Rakes
  • Road pavers — Laydown machines; Pull type pavers
  • Road rooters — Concrete groovers
  • Road surface heater planers — Asphalt reclaimers
  • Road wideners — Self-propelled road wideners
  • Rock cutters
  • Rollers — 4-6 ton roller patchers; Patch rollers less than 9 tons; Pavement rollers
  • Safety chains — Tire chains
  • Scaffolding — Swinging stages
  • Scissor lift or lift table — Scissor trucks
  • Screwdrivers
  • Scrubbing machines — Power broom street sweepers; Self-propelled sweepers; Tow brooms
  • Seeder attachment — Seeders
  • Shovels
  • Snow blowers
  • Snowplow attachments — Rotary snowplows; Snowplows
  • Spades
  • Spot welding machine — Portable welding equipment
  • Sprayers — Chemical sprayers; Computerized weed spray trucks
  • Tampers — Pneumatic tampers
  • Theodolites
  • Track bulldozers — Side dozers
  • Track excavators — Gradalls; Hydraulic excavators
  • Two way radios
  • Vacuum cleaners — Multipurpose vacuum street sweepers
  • Vibratory plates — Concrete paving vibrators
  • Water pumps
  • Water trucks
  • Weeders — Weedeaters
  • Wheel bulldozers — Bulldozers
  • Wheel loaders — Athey loaders

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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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.
  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • 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.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Skills

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • 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.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Speed of Limb Movement — The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
  • Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • 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.

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Work Activities

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • 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.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Direct vehicle traffic.
  • Maintain mechanical equipment.
  • Operate equipment or vehicles to clear construction sites or move materials.
  • Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment.
  • Move construction or extraction materials to locations where they are needed.
  • Spread sand, dirt or other loose materials onto surfaces.
  • Inspect completed work to ensure proper installation.
  • Compact materials to create level bases.
  • Pour materials into or on designated areas.
  • Spread concrete or other aggregate mixtures.
  • Remove debris or vegetation from work sites.
  • Install fencing or other barriers.
  • Clean equipment or facilities.
  • Inspect industrial or commercial equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Maintain plumbing structures or fixtures.
  • Apply paint to surfaces.
  • Dismantle equipment or temporary structures.
  • Mark reference points on construction materials.
  • Measure work site dimensions.
  • Operate road-surfacing equipment.
  • Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 62% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 54% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 61% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 54% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 48% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Important results.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 38% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Physical Proximity — 38% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 37% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 34% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 37% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 31% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 29% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 84% responded “40 hours.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 31% responded “Important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 37% responded “Fairly important.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 36% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Time Pressure — 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 41% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Telephone — 37% responded “Never.”
  • Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 32% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 37% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
78   High school diploma or equivalent Help
14   Post-secondary certificate Help
8   Less than high school diploma

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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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

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

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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.
  • 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.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $17.75 hourly, $36,930 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 151,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 47,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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