Bridge and Lock Tenders

Description

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.

Tasks

  • Move levers to activate traffic signals, navigation lights, and alarms.
  • 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.
  • Check that bridges are clear of vehicles and pedestrians prior to opening.
  • Turn valves to increase or decrease water levels in locks.
  • Stop automobile and pedestrian traffic on bridges, and lower automobile gates prior to moving bridges.
  • Raise drawbridges and observe passage of water traffic, then lower drawbridges and raise automobile gates.
  • Operate lighthouses to assist marine passage near shores and dangerous waters.
  • Add and remove balance weights to bridge mechanisms as necessary.
  • Attach ropes or cable lines to bitts on lock decks or wharfs to secure vessels.

Knowledge

Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Management of Material Resources
Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Systems Analysis
Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Work Activities

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Bridge Leverman
Bridge Opener
Bridge Operator
Bridge Operator, Slip
Bridge Tender
Bridgeman
Chief Lock Tender Operator
Crossing Tender
Crossing Watchman
Dam Attendant
Dam Operator
Dam Tender
Dam Tender Assistant
Draw Operator
Drawbridge Operator
Drawbridge Tender
Gate Attendant
Lighthouse Keeper
Lock Keeper
Lock Master
Lock Operator
Lock Tender
Lockman
Locks Tender
Marine Tower Operator
Station Gateman
Tender

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$22.09 hourly, $45,940 annual.
Employment (2008):
3,460 employees