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Career and Education Opportunities for Signal and Track Switch Repairers in Rockford, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for signal and track switch repairers in the Rockford, Illinois area. There are currently 580 jobs for signal and track switch repairers in Illinois and this is projected to shrink by 6% to about 550 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for signal and track switch repairers are expected to grow by about 1.1%. Signal and track switch repairers generally install, inspect, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.

Signal and track switch repairers earn about $25 per hour or $52,300 annually on average in Illinois and about $23 per hour or $49,700 annually on average nationally. Earnings for signal and track switch repairers are better than earnings in the general category of Railroad in Illinois and better than general Railroad category earnings nationally.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Rockford area, including one within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree to start your career as a signal and track switch repairer. Given that the most common education level for signal and track switch repairers is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn to be a signal and track switch repairer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Signal and Track Switch Repairer

In general, signal and track switch repairers install, inspect, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.

Signal and track switch repairers drive motor vehicles to job sites. They also remove faulty wiring or burned-out light bulbs. Equally important, signal and track switch repairers have to examine and test operations, mechanical parts, and circuitry of gate crossings and signal equipment such as interlocks and hotbox detectors. They are often called upon to examine and remove batteries as needed. They are expected to clean lenses of lamps with cloths and solvents. Finally, signal and track switch repairers examine electrical units of railroad grade crossing gates and repair loose bolts and faulty electrical connections and parts.

Every day, signal and track switch repairers are expected to be able to understand events and object details at a distance. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for signal and track switch repairers to lubricate moving parts on gate-crossing mechanisms and swinging signals. They are often called upon to examine switch-controlling mechanisms on trolley wires and in track beds, using hand tools and test equipment. Somewhat less frequently, signal and track switch repairers are also expected to record and report data related to mileage or track inspected, fixes performed, and equipment requiring replacement.

They also have to be able to record and report data related to mileage or track inspected, fixes performed, and equipment requiring replacement and examine electrical units of railroad grade crossing gates and repair loose bolts and faulty electrical connections and parts. And finally, they sometimes have to clean lenses of lamps with cloths and solvents.

Like many other jobs, signal and track switch repairers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Signal and Track Switch Repairer Training

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has a one to two year program in Electrician which graduated three students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.