What Do Bridge and Lock Tenders Do?
Bridge and lock tenders play an essential role in ensuring the secure passage of boats, vehicles and trains on or near dangerous waterways. This may also include the tending of lighthouses to aid in marine navigation. Positions in this field generally require the use of bridge and canal mechanisms to control traffic and safety, and may extend to the supervision and documentation of such operations.Statistically speaking, the national demand for bridge and lock tenders is estimated to decrease, but certain areas are anticipating a much different outcome. Depending on your location, some regions are anticipating almost 13% annual growth, creating hundreds of potential job openings in fields related to transportation and maritime navigation.
Bridge and Lock Tenders Skills and Abilities
If you are considering a position in this field, well-developed oral and written communication skills are a a must for both occupational and training purposes. In addition, you will be required to simultaneously control and monitor different systems and equipment to prevent potential operational problems. Coordination and critical thinking are also valuable abilities to strengthen, encouraging you to assess and resolve a variety of circumstances quickly and efficiently.
Bridge and Lock Tenders Duties
As a bridge and lock tender, you are expected to complete tasks safely and accurately, often interacting directly with the public as you perform regular operational functions. In many cases, you will also be responsible for the initial training of new employees. People in this position are responsible for controlling and inspecting a wide range of machinery, a duty which is often accompanied by tasks such as documenting statistics or traffic reports.Specific functions of the job may differ depending on the equipment you are operating and your overall level of authority. In most cases, you should be prepared to perform common tasks such as :* Cleaning and maintaining equipment and work facilities* Operating machinery and communication systems* Monitoring and directing traffic signals and vehicle movement* Identifying and assessing possible dangers or malfunctions* Recording travel details and incident reports
Bridge and Lock Tenders Tools and Technology
In terms of technology, you must possess basic computer skills such as emailing, word processing and spreadsheet manipulation. This is currently the most convenient form of recording and transmitting important information. Common tools and equipment associated with this position include:* Cars and other vehicles* Alarms and intrusion signals* Bells and flags for marine systems* Navigational and roadway lighting* Weight and pumping mechanisms
Education and Training for Bridge and Lock Tenders
Most companies ask that applicants have a high school diploma or acceptable equivalent to become a bridge and lock tender, meaning no prior experience is necessary to be hired. Training for the position is provided on a short-term basis and typically occurs on-site to maximize the level of educational interaction for new employees. This also allows supervisors to give first-hand instruction on the use and maintenance of different equipment.
Bridge and Lock Tenders Salary
The salary for this field ultimately depends on your location and level of responsibility. Although supervisory positions tend to pay more, the average salary for bridge and lock tenders is about $48,100 per year. Employees who are just beginning to learn the ins and outs of the industry may receive a lower salary at first, but can expect annual raises and promotions with the accumulation of experience.
Bridge and Lock Tenders Jobs by Geography
Currently, the highest demand for bridge and lock tenders is in Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, three regions which experience a high volume of traffic on or near different waterways. Minnesota, however, is known to offer the highest rate of pay for this position, with salaries being roughly 16% higher than the national average.