Signal and Track Switch Repairers
SOC: 49-9097.00


Install, inspect, test, maintain, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, signal equipment, track switches, section lines, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
9,500 employed

Projected (2024):
9,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Communications Maintainer
  • Electric Track Switch Maintainer
  • Electrician
  • Electronic Train Control Technician
  • Gate Technician
  • Light Rail Signal Technician
  • Rail Signal Designer
  • Rail Signal Mechanic
  • Railroad Crossing Protection Maintainer
  • Railroad Signal Technician
  • Railway Signal Technician
  • Register Repairer
  • Signal and Communications Maintainer
  • Signal Inspector
  • Signal Maintainer
  • Signal Maintenance Technician
  • Signal Mechanic
  • Signal Supervisor
  • Signal System Testing Maintainer
  • Signal Technician
  • Signalman
  • Third Rail Installer
  • Train Control Electronic Technician
  • Train Control Technician

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Install, inspect, maintain, and repair various railroad service equipment on the road or in the shop, including railroad signal systems.
  • Inspect and test operation, mechanical parts, and circuitry of gate crossings, signals, and signal equipment such as interlocks and hotbox detectors.
  • Inspect switch-controlling mechanisms on trolley wires and in track beds, using hand tools and test equipment.
  • Drive motor vehicles to job sites.
  • Tighten loose bolts, using wrenches, and test circuits and connections by opening and closing gates.
  • Inspect electrical units of railroad grade crossing gates and repair loose bolts and defective electrical connections and parts.
  • Replace defective wiring, broken lenses, or burned-out light bulbs.
  • Record and report information about mileage or track inspected, repairs performed, and equipment requiring replacement.
  • Inspect, maintain, and replace batteries as needed.
  • Lubricate moving parts on gate-crossing mechanisms and swinging signals.
  • Clean lenses of lamps with cloths and solvents.
  • Maintain high tension lines, de-energizing lines for power companies when repairs are requested.
  • Test air lines and air cylinders on pneumatically operated gates.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Articulating aerial lift equipment
  • Audio spectrum analyzers
  • Brush cutting equipment
  • Clamp-on ammeters
  • Closed circuit television CCTV systems
  • Digital oscilloscopes
  • Digital still cameras
  • Digital timers
  • Digital voltage meters
  • Frequency specific volt meters
  • Hotbox detectors
  • Inkjet computer printers
  • Inkjet fax machines
  • Laptop computers
  • Mechanical lifts
  • Meggers
  • Multi-tip screwdrivers
  • Multipurpose hammers
  • Personal computers
  • Power drills
  • Power grinders
  • Relay testers
  • Shovels
  • Slip joint pliers
  • Spectrum analyzers
  • Switch machines
  • Switch obstruction gauges
  • Terminal post wrenches
  • Wheel forklifts
  • Wire crimpers
  • Maintenance management software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browser software

  • installation maintenance and repair

    industry stats

    SOC: 49-0000

    Total Employed: 5,374,150

    Average Annual Salary: $45,990