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Career and Education Opportunities for Signal and Track Switch Repairers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for signal and track switch repairers. Currently, 650 people work as signal and track switch repairers in Pennsylvania. This is expected to shrink by 14% to about 550 people 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.

The income of a signal and track switch repairer is about $23 hourly or $49,350 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 hourly or $49,700 per year on average. Earnings for signal and track switch repairers are better than earnings in the general category of Railroad in Pennsylvania and better than general Railroad category earnings nationally.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a signal and track switch repairer. The most common level of education 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

Rosedale Technical Institute - Pittsburgh, PA

Rosedale Technical Institute, 215 Beecham Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205-9791. Rosedale Technical Institute is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 231 students and an admission rate of 100%. Rosedale Technical Institute has an associate's degree program in Electrician which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Dean Institute of Technology - Pittsburgh, PA

Dean Institute of Technology, 1501 W Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15226-1197. Dean Institute of Technology is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 147 students. Dean Institute of Technology has an associate's degree program in Electrician which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has an associate's degree program in Electrician.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Electrician which graduated four students in 2008.

Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh, 1940 Perrysville Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214-3897. Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 257 students. Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Electrician which graduated six and fifty-four students respectively in 2008.

Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg - Greensburg, PA

Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg, 222 E Pittsburgh St Ste A, Greensburg, PA 15601-3304. Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg is a small school located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 229 students. Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Electrician which graduated six and 100 students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.