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Career and Education Opportunities for Signal and Track Switch Repairers in McAllen, Texas

Signal and track switch repairers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the McAllen, Texas area. About 470 people are currently employed as signal and track switch repairers in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 7% to about 440 people employed. 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%. In general, signal and track switch repairers install, inspect, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.

The average wage in the general category of Railroad jobs is $19 per hour or $39,070 per year in Texas, and an average of $23 per hour or $47,190 per year nationwide.

The McAllen area is home to nine schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of McAllen where you can get a degree as a signal and track switch repairer. Signal and track switch repairers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying 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

South Texas College - McAllen, TX

South Texas College, 3201 W Pecan, McAllen, TX 78502-9701. South Texas College is a large college located in McAllen, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,066 students. South Texas College has a less than one year program in Electrician which graduated nine students in 2008.

San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistants-McAllen - McAllen, TX

San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistants-McAllen, 1500 S. Jackson, McAllen, TX 78503-1625. San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistants-McAllen is a small college located in McAllen, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,073 students. San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistants-McAllen has a one to two year program in Electrician which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: McAllen, Texas

McAllen, Texas
McAllen, Texas photo by L1CENSET0K1LL

Mcallen is located in Hidalgo County, Texas. It has a population of over 129,776, which has grown by 22.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Mcallen, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Mcallen cost $174,400 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-three new homes were constructed in Mcallen, down from seven hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Mcallen are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.6% of Mcallen residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Mcallen is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Mcallen residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Emmanuel Baptist Church, Family of Faith Fellowship Church and First Missionary Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Mcallen. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Mcallen is home to the Sam and Marjorie Miller House and the McAllen Memorial Library as well as Schupp Park and Archer Park. Shopping centers in the area include Las Tiendas Plaza Shopping Center and La Plaza Shopping Center.