a dark blue TraitLab logo
Sign up

Have an account? Sign in

Career profile Highway Maintenance Technician

Also known as Equipment Operator (EO), Highway Maintainer, Highway Maintenance Crew Worker, Highway Maintenance Technician, Highway Maintenance Worker, Maintenance Technician, Maintenance Worker, Transportation Maintenance Operator, Transportation Maintenance Specialist (TMS), Transportation Worker

Highway Maintenance Technician

Also known as Equipment Operator (EO), Highway Maintainer, Highway Maintenance Crew Worker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,410 - $61,940 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Transportation
  • Building and Construction
Core tasks
  • Set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.
  • Flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead.
  • Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.
Is Highway Maintenance Technician the right career path for you?

Would Highway Maintenance Technician be a good fit for you?

Explore how your personality fits with Highway Maintenance Technician and hundreds of other career paths.

Get started with TraitLab

What does a Highway Maintenance Technician do?

Highway Maintenance Technicians maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way.

In addition, Highway Maintenance Technicians

  • duties include patching broken or eroded pavement and repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences,
  • may also mow or clear brush from along road, or plow snow from roadway.

What kind of tasks does a Highway Maintenance Technician perform regularly?

Highway Maintenance Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.
  • Flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead.
  • Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.
  • Drive trucks to transport crews and equipment to work sites.
  • Erect, install, or repair guardrails, road shoulders, berms, highway markers, warning signals, and highway lighting, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.
  • Drive heavy equipment and vehicles with adjustable attachments to sweep debris from paved surfaces, mow grass and weeds, remove snow and ice, and spread salt and sand.
  • Haul and spread sand, gravel, and clay to fill washouts and repair road shoulders.
  • Remove litter and debris from roadways, including debris from rock and mud slides.
  • Inspect, clean, and repair drainage systems, bridges, tunnels, and other structures.
  • Dump, spread, and tamp asphalt, using pneumatic tampers, to repair joints and patch broken pavement.
  • Perform roadside landscaping work, such as clearing weeds and brush, and planting and trimming trees.

The above responsibilities are specific to Highway Maintenance Technicians. More generally, Highway Maintenance Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Highway Maintenance Technician salary?

The median salary for a Highway Maintenance Technician is $41,660, and the average salary is $43,200. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Highway Maintenance Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Highway Maintenance Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Highway Maintenance Technicians earn less than $27,410 per year, 25% earn less than $33,850, 75% earn less than $51,300, and 90% earn less than $61,940.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Highway Maintenance Technicians is expected to change by 6.0%, and there should be roughly 17,100 open positions for Highway Maintenance Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$27,410 - $61,940
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Highway Maintenance Technicians?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Highway Maintenance Technician are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Highway Maintenance Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. 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.

Also, Highway Maintenance Technicians typically have moderate Conventional interests. 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.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Highway Maintenance Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Highway Maintenance Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Highway Maintenance Technicians moderately value 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.

Lastly, Highway Maintenance Technicians somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Highway Maintenance Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, concern for others, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Highway Maintenance Technicians, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Highway Maintenance Technicians need?

Working as a Highway Maintenance Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Highway Maintenance Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Highway Maintenance Technicians

  • 12.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 53.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.0% completed some college coursework
  • 7.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Highway Maintenance Technicians

Highway Maintenance Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as public safety and security, transportation, or building and construction knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Highway Maintenance Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Highway Maintenance Technicians

Highway Maintenance Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Highway Maintenance Technicians need abilities such as control precision, multilimb coordination, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Highway Maintenance Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Critical Skills needed by Highway Maintenance Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Highway Maintenance Technicians frequently use skills like operation and control, operations monitoring, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Highway Maintenance Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.