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Career and Education Opportunities for Highway Maintenance Workers in Los Angeles, California

Highway maintenance workers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Los Angeles, California area. There are currently 3,800 jobs for highway maintenance workers in California and this is projected to grow 21% to about 4,600 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for highway maintenance workers are expected to grow by about 8.5%. Highway maintenance workers generally maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way.

The income of a highway maintenance worker is about $23 per hour or $48,370 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,000 annually on average. Incomes for highway maintenance workers are better than in the overall category of Paving in California, and not quite as good as the overall Paving category nationally.

The Los Angeles area is home to 274 schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree as a highway maintenance worker. Given that the most common education level for highway maintenance workers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a highway maintenance worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Highway Maintenance Worker

Highway Maintenance Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, highway maintenance workers maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. They also duties include patching broken or eroded pavement, repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences.

Highway maintenance workers set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic. They also flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead. Equally important, highway maintenance workers have to drive trucks to transport crews and apparatus to work sites. They are often called upon to clean and clear refuse from culverts and other drain structures. They are expected to drive trucks or tractors with adjustable attachments to sweep refuse from paved surfaces, mow grass and weeds, and remove snow and ice. Finally, highway maintenance workers perform roadside landscaping work, such as clearing weeds and brush, and planting and trimming trees.

Every day, highway maintenance workers are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. It is also important that they maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.

It is important for highway maintenance workers to inspect and repair drainage systems and other structures. They are often called upon to position and remove snow fences used to inhibit the accumulation of drifting snow on highways. They also apply poisons along roadsides and in animal burrows to remove unwanted roadside vegetation and rodents. They are sometimes expected to apply oil to road surfaces, using sprayers. Somewhat less frequently, highway maintenance workers are also expected to inspect markers to confirm accurate installation.

They also have to be able to measure and mark locations for placement of markers, using tape, string, or chalk and blend compounds to fashion adhesive mixtures used for marker installation. And finally, they sometimes have to paint traffic control lines and position pavement traffic messages, by hand or using machines.

Like many other jobs, highway maintenance workers must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Black Top Paver Operator. Operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways, or equipment used for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials. Includes concrete and asphalt paving machine operators, form tampers, tamping machine operators, and stone spreader operators.
  • Construction Worker. Perform tasks involving physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, clean up rubble and debris, and remove asbestos, lead, and other hazardous waste materials. May assist other craft workers.
  • Track Layer. Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and road bed tamping machine operators.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Highway Maintenance Worker Training

Santiago Canyon College - Orange, CA

Santiago Canyon College, 8045 E Chapman, Orange, CA 92869-4512. Santiago Canyon College is a large college located in Orange, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,086 students. Santiago Canyon College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation.

Rio Hondo College - Whittier, CA

Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601-1616. Rio Hondo College is a large college located in Whittier, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,505 students. Rio Hondo College has a two to four year program in Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation.

CERTIFICATIONS

Crane Operator Certification: NCCER and NACB have collaborated to develop the Crane Operator Certification Program.

For more information, see the National Center for Construction Education and Research website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Asphalt: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged specifically in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Concrete: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Soils: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Construction: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians involved in the inspection (monitoring) of highway construction projects.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Maintenance: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians involved in the inspection/supervision of street and highway maintenance activities.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Materials: This certification program is for highway engineering technicians involved in laboratory and field testing of highway materials such as aggregates, asphalts, concrete, soils, paints, and metals.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Surveys: This certification program is for engineering technicians involved in field and/or office aspects of highway surveying.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Traffic Operations: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians involved in traffic studies and traffic control.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway System Maintenance and Preservation: This certification is designed for engineering technicians who perform and inspect highway system maintenance and preservation work; the program is applicable to both private and public sector technicians.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.