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Career and Education Opportunities for Signal and Track Switch Repairers in Charleston, West Virginia

There are many career and education opportunities for signal and track switch repairers in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for signal and track switch repairers sees this job pool growing by about 1.1% over the next eight years. 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 $23 per hour or $48,290 per year in West Virginia, and an average of $23 per hour or $47,190 per year nationwide.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a signal and track switch repairer, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. Given that the most common education level for signal and track switch repairers is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Boat Mechanic. Repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
  • Electrical Line Worker. Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Signal and Track Switch Repairer Training

Fayette Institute of Technology - Oak Hill, WV

Fayette Institute of Technology, 300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901. Fayette Institute of Technology is a small school located in Oak Hill, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 24 students. Fayette Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Electrician which graduated six students in 2008.

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Electrician which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.