What Do Highway Maintenance Workers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

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. They also set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.

Other tasks include:

  • Flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead.
  • Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.
  • Drive trucks to transport crews and equipment to work sites.
  • Erect, install, or repair guardrails, road shoulders, berms, highway markers, warning signals, and highway lighting, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.
  • 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.

We asked Highway Maintenance Workers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

63%

How meaningful is this job

56%


63% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Highway Maintenance Workers perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment. They drive trucks to transport crews and equipment to work sites.

A typical day for a Highway Maintenance Worker will also include:

  • Set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.
  • Dump, spread, and tamp asphalt, using pneumatic tampers, to repair joints and patch broken pavement.
  • 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.
  • Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.
  • Erect, install, or repair guardrails, road shoulders, berms, highway markers, warning signals, and highway lighting, using hand tools and power tools.

We asked some Highway Maintenance Workers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 28% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 61% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 77% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 36% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 3% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 41% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Highway Maintenance Workers also 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. They may also apply poisons along roadsides and in animal burrows to eliminate unwanted roadside vegetation and rodents.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Highway Maintenance Workers Inspect, clean, and repair drainage systems, bridges, tunnels, and other structures. They might also Paint traffic control lines and place pavement traffic messages, by hand or using machines.

In addition, they Blend compounds to form adhesive mixtures used for marker installation.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Haul and spread sand, gravel, and clay to fill washouts and repair road shoulders.

To some Highway Maintenance Workers, it is also their responsibility to Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Irregular work schedule that changes depending on weather conditions, customer demand or contract duration.

In a typical work week as a Highway Maintenance Worker, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Highway Maintenance Workers work in an office-style work environment?

Never
53%


Once a week
21%


Do Highway Maintenance Workers work outdoors?

Every day
94%


Once a week
6%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



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Related to Highway Maintenance Workers Job Description

Highway Maintenance Workers job description, what do Highway Maintenance Workers do, typical day for Highway Maintenance Workers, what is it like to work as a Highway Maintenance Worker, how many hours do Highway Maintenance Workers work, day to day work of a Highway Maintenance Worker

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes474051.htm



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