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Traffic Control Technician: Qualifications, Duties and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a traffic control technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Traffic control technicians assist at construction sites with routing traffic around the work area. These technicians may need a high school diploma, and some employers may require certification. The job growth outlook for these jobs is about as fast as the market as a whole.

Essential Information

Traffic control technicians (TCT) work with construction teams to ensure that automobiles do not interfere with, or pose a danger to, laborers and their projects. While there are no formal education requirements for traffic control technicians, a high school diploma may be preferred. Candidates must become certified in basic traffic safety techniques by attending class and taking an exam.

Required Education None, though a high school diploma may be preferred
Other Requirements Certification through the American Traffic Safety Services Administration (ATSSA)
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6%
Mean Salary (2015)* $47,660 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Qualifications to Become a Traffic Control Technician

There are no formal education requirements to become a traffic control technician (TCT), although employers may prefer job candidates with at least a high school diploma. The American Traffic Safety Services Administration (ATSSA) offers TCT certification that teaches technicians the proper techniques and safety procedures for installing and monitoring traffic-control devices. The ATSSA stated that enrolling in the certification course requires potential technicians to have at least 2,000 hours of traffic control experience, pay a standard certification fee and provide at least two professional references (www.atssa.com). After completing a 1-day course that introduces traffic control safety, potential technicians must pass an extensive written exam, with a score of 80% or higher, and gain approval from the ATSSA Certification Board to obtain the TCT certification.

Job Duties

Many traffic-control technicians are part of a construction team that diverts traffic from the work area. A TCT is often expected to help control traffic and assist with the construction project. The TCT must create a safe work zone that ensures that traffic stays out of the way of the workers. This involves setting up cones and safety barriers that show traffic where to drive, as well as holding up signs that tells traffic to either stop or to proceed slowly. Traffic-control technicians must be constantly aware of both the construction and traffic activity taking place around them.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labeled traffic control technicians as construction workers and predicted the need for these workers to rise by 6% between 2014 and 2024, which was as fast as the average for all national occupations (www.bls.gov). There should be a particular demand for construction laborers working on roads and bridges. All types of traffic technicians earned a mean yearly salary of $47,660 in May 2015, reported the BLS.

Traffic control technicians help maintain safety in construction areas. Certification for traffic control technicians is available and requires proof of work experience and references, as well as completing a 1-day course and passing an exam. The mean annual salary for these positions is about $48,000.

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