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The Risks and Rewards of a Traffic Control Job

Jul 23, 2008
If you saw a classified advertisement that offered the opportunity to get a traffic control job with your local highway patrol, would you consider applying for this position? Many people take an interest in doing this kind of work because there are rewards in the form of relatively high pay and decent benefits.

However, there are some serious risks involved in doing the work of a traffic control operator and these should be taken into consideration before pursuing a job in this field. It takes a certain kind of personality to be able to do well at this job and to reap the rewards without becoming a victim of some of the more serious risks that are involved.

A traffic control job refers simply to being one of the people on the roads or highways that is telling traffic what to do in an unusual situation. The most common time that you're going to see someone working in this position is when there is construction happening on the roads. Those people that are standing out there with the signs that can alternatively read "Stop" and "Slow" are people who are engaged in the job of doing traffic control. These people may also use flags to indicate to drivers where they should be going. They may also be responsible for setting up traffic control signs and traffic cones in the surrounding area so that drivers know what to expect on the road as they approach the construction site.

There are many reasons that someone would be interested in doing this type of traffic control job. The most common reason is because this is considered to be a high-paying job for people who do not have advanced education. Without a college degree, it can be really hard to find a job that pays well and this is one of those rare opportunities to bring home a good paycheck without having to attend college. The traffic control job typically also comes with health benefits and other perks that may not be as easy to obtain from other jobs that you can get when you don't have a college degree. In addition to the money and benefits, someone may be interested in this job because it's an outdoor job that is relatively simple to do in some ways.

Despite the simplicity of the actual tasks of the job, there are definitely some things about traffic control work that are difficult. There are also aspects of the job that can pose serious risks to the employee. The issue of being outdoors may be a benefit when the weather is nice but it can be taxing in extreme weather conditions. The physical work isn't exhausting in the sense of having to be extremely physical active but it can be really draining to stand on your feet all day, waving flags and flipping traffic control signs. And even if you're not cold and tired, you face certain risks in dealing with the drivers that you encounter in this job. Put simply, there are some drivers who are going to get aggravated about being stuck in traffic delays and they often take this frustration out on traffic control workers, sometimes to the point of causing them physical harm.

Not everyone is going to be cut out to do a traffic control job. Some people will find the work to be tedious and perhaps even physically trying. Other people will decide that they don't want to take the risks that are posed to their physical safety in terms of dealing with angry drivers. But there are certainly people out there who will weigh the pros and cons and decide that the pay and the benefits of the traffic control job are worth the drawbacks that this sort of employment may entail.
About the Author
Andy West is a writer for DiscountDirectionals.com, your source for discount crowd control barricades for traffic control.
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