Career Profile: Traffic Technician

Career Profile: Traffic Technician

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

When you look at a street full of traffic, you might think that no one is in charge and that people just drive wherever they want. However, the way that traffic works is the result of careful study and analysis. Traffic technicians work with information from traffic studies to monitor patterns and to find better ways of helping people get to their destinations quickly and easily. If you are good at seeing patterns and using data to find better ways of organizing people, the job of traffic technician might be right for you.

For drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, it can be difficult to see how much work goes into making sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Sometimes, dangerous curves need to be straightened out, crowded intersections need better coordination of traffic lights, or crosswalks need to be moved to make them safer.

Traffic technicians work with engineering companies, government agencies, city planners, and even the army to make sure that traffic moves as safely and smoothly as possible. This might involve changing the timing of traffic lights at intersections to make sure that the largest amount of traffic can get through as smoothly as possible. Traffic technicians might suggest narrowing the lanes on the road to encourage people to drive more slowly or look for sections if road that drivers find especially difficult.

Working with data is a large part of a traffic technician’s job. First, technicians need to conduct surveys to find the information they need. This might involve counting vehicles that pass by certain spots or looking at accident statistics to see what happens in an area without a clear view of the road ahead. Traffic technicians need to know what the problems are and be able to think of potential solutions.

Being able to see and analyze overall trends is important for traffic control technicians, but seeing the details is also very important. People in this job need to know how small changes can make a difference in the way that traffic works. For example, understanding how people respond to yield signs versus stop signs could help traffic technicians recommend the most useful changes to how the system works. These technicians might work with engineers and road builders to alter the design of roads if necessary.

Traffic control technicians can work in almost any area that has a large amount of traffic, but jobs are more likely to be available in large towns or cities. Government departments and universities are the most likely places to find work. Salaries start at $50,000 per year and can rise to $97,000 per year.  Much of the work is indoors, but some people in this job might work outside on occasion to see the traffic flow firsthand.

Being able to learn and work with others is important in this job. People with more experience of a certain area of the city, for example, might know more about the area than the traffic technician does. Receiving advice from those people could be important. Traffic patterns can also be different in the morning than they are in the evening and can change at different times of the year. Doing research into factors that affect traffic is important.

Traffic technicians are important for keeping people safe and vehicles moving on the road. If you are detail-oriented and organized, this job could be right for you.



Career Explorer. “What Is a Traffic Technician?” https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/traffic-technician/.

Glassdoor. “Traffic Technician Salaries in Canada.” https://www.glassdoor.ca/Salaries/traffic-technician-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm.

Government of Canada. “Traffic Technician.” https://forces.ca/en/career/traffic-technician/.

Owl Guru. “How To Become a Traffic Technician.” https://www.owlguru.com/career/traffic-technicians/requirements/.

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