Highway maintenance workers are responsible for maintaining highways so they are safe for drivers to use. Different maintenance workers may have different tasks, and some may be expected to clear waste and debris while others may perform construction work, especially relating to freeways. Some common duties of the job include sealing cracks, removing snow, cleaning freeways, installing signs, and performing repairs, and they generally work under a supervisor who assigns duties on a daily basis.
A valid driver’s license is often required for this position, as highway maintenance workers must travel from place to place in order to monitor highways and transport supplies. The ability to operate heavy equipment, such as snow blowers, loaders, mobile brooms, and other instruments is also important, and it may be necessary to calibrate and troubleshoot this machinery and perform routine maintenance. Record keeping is also part of the job, though generally a small part, so good written and arithmetic skills are beneficial.
Usually, a minimum of a high school diploma is required to be a highway maintenance worker, and some positions may require them to be certified with certain types of heavy equipment. The job requires a good deal of physical strength for manual labor and can be grueling from the straining and repetitive motions involved. These workers are most often outdoors, so occasional exposure to weather conditions such as rain, snow, or intense heat is possible. Because accidents can occur on highways, they may occasionally be subjected to unpleasant scenes and must notify emergency services as quickly as possible.
Highway Maintenance Worker Tasks
Monitor, maintain and repair roads, shoulders, guardrails, and medians.
Clear ditches, culverts and other areas associated with roads.
Assist with delivery and set up of materials to improve roads.
Clear roads of debris, litter, dead animals, snow, plant material and other hazards.