Career Profile: Traffic Technician

Career Profile: Traffic Technician

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Anyone who rides in a car or bus in a Canadian city has likely been in a traffic jam. Even smaller towns can have busy times when so many cars and trucks are out on the road that it can be hard to get anywhere. Traffic control technicians cannot always prevent these problems, but they can help people get to their destinations as quickly and easily as possible.

Have you ever bumped into anyone and been knocked over while you were out skating or playing soccer? When many different people are making their own decisions about where to go, they can easily crash into each other. Traffic technicians study the roads and traffic patterns to try to make things run as smoothly as possible, helping to reduce accidents as well as getting people home faster.

For rush hour when many people are going home from work, for example, traffic technicians might set the green lights to be much longer on the main roads than on the side roads. They might suggest different speed limits around schools and construction zones or more lighting in certain areas.

Generally, traffic technicians need bachelor’s degrees in a field like civil engineering. Sometimes, people can start their careers in low-level jobs and work their way up. Often, traffic technicians work with engineers who supervise the work that they do. High school courses in mathematics and physics are useful for learning the kind of work that traffic technicians do.

People in this field spend much of their time collecting statistics on the number of vehicles on a certain street or the busiest time of day in one part of the city. Traffic technicians should know how to use automatic counters for tracking the number of vehicles and be able to conduct surveys and analyze the information they receive. They write out reports for the company or the government that they are working for and make recommendations on how to improve efficiency. Traffic technicians in the army need to be physically fit to help with tasks like loading or unloading cargo or operating military equipment.

Starting salaries for traffic technicians are generally just under $41,000 and can rise to over $68,000 per year. The work is often indoors, using computer programs to analyze data and to map out new routes or write out work orders. Sometimes, however, traffic technicians might spend a lot of their time outside, checking for the accuracy of counters or seeing the traffic patterns for themselves.

Many traffic technicians are part of a larger group of staff dealing with various issues. They might work with engineers, city planners, mayors, and others to find a solution to traffic problems. Engineers are normally in charge of the work that traffic technicians do. People in this job can sometimes have a lot of responsibility for making sure that everything gets done. Traffic technicians need to be detail-oriented and to be well organized so that they can get the work done in the right places without making too many mistakes.

Working as a traffic technician can be a good choice for people who enjoy numbers and statistics. If that describes you, why not consider training for this job?


Career Planner. “Traffic Technician.” https://job-descriptions.careerplanner.com/Traffic-Technicians.cfm.

Government of Canada. “Traffic Technician Job Description.” https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/caf-jobs/career-options/fields-work/administration-support/traffic-technician.html.

My Plan.com. “Traffic Technicians.” https://www.myplan.com/careers/traffic-technicians/description-53-6041.00.html

Neuvoo. “Traffic Technician Salary in Canada.” https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=Traffic%20Technician

Study.com. “Become a Traffic Technician.” https://study.com/become_a_traffic_technician.html

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