Bridge and Lock Tenders

Operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages. May supervise such operations. Includes drawbridge operators, lock operators, and slip bridge operators.

Median Annual Wage: $48,120

Education: Less than high school diploma (50%); High school diploma or equivalent (39%); Some college, no degree (7%)

Projected Growth: Decline (-3% or lower)

Related Job Titles: Lock Tender; Bridge Operator; Bridge Tender

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Bridge and Lock Tenders.

More Transportation and Material Moving Careers

  • Record names, types, and destinations of vessels passing through bridge openings or locks, and numbers of trains or vehicles crossing bridges.
  • Control machinery to open and close canal locks and dams, railroad or highway drawbridges, or horizontally or vertically adjustable bridges.
  • Direct movements of vessels in locks or bridge areas, using signals, telecommunication equipment, or loudspeakers.
  • Prepare accident reports.
  • Observe approaching vessels to determine size and speed, and listen for whistle signals indicating desire to pass.
  • Observe position and progress of vessels to ensure best utilization of lock spaces or bridge opening spaces.
  • Maintain and guard stations in bridges to check waterways for boat traffic.
  • Inspect canal and bridge equipment, and areas such as roadbeds for damage or defects, reporting problems to supervisors as necessary.
  • Clean and lubricate equipment, and make minor repairs and adjustments.
  • Log data such as water levels and weather conditions.
  • Write and submit maintenance work requisitions.
  • Perform maintenance duties such as sweeping, painting, and yard work to keep facilities clean and in order.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Bridge and Lock Tenders.

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Bridge and Lock Tenders.

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