Roadway construction can become a hassle and cause commute issues. A work zone can cause sudden changes and congestion on your daily route. A proper work zone cannot function without flaggers directing the flow of traffic and alerting drivers of changing conditions. Flaggers must be able to set up work zones and detours quickly while staying alert at all times. Do you think you would strive in this fast-paced environment? Keep reading and find out if a career in flagging is right for you!
THE SKILLS YOU NEED TO SUCCEED AS A FLAGGER
A great flagger needs to possess a variety of skills, but none may be more important than communication skills. Communication is the name of the game – you must be direct with your co-workers as well as motorists. A direct line of communication can be the difference between an incident-free day and one disastrous mistake. The stakes are high, so you must be ready to take on this responsibility. Everyone must be on the same page to properly execute tasks such as closing down a lane and directing one-way traffic. When it comes to communicating with drivers, flaggers must know how to use their signaling devices – flags, stop signs, paddles, etc. These devices and high-awareness help drivers stay alert to changing conditions and help them navigate work zones safely. Flaggers must also be willing to stay on their feet for long periods. Physical health is crucial in this field – you may have to move heavy objects and debris. These skills will allow you to identify potential hazards and work quickly to prevent them.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BECOME A FLAGGER?
Formal education is not needed to start a career in flagging – however, most states require certification. To begin this process, visit your state’s Department of Transportation website. In most cases, the certification process should only take a few hours. The course will teach you how to be a safe and effective flagger. After completion, you will understand the importance of flagging operations and protocols. Many states require you to pass an exam after the courses. Once you pass the exam, you can expect your flagger certification license in the mail in the coming weeks. You must renew your license every four years.
WHERE CAN YOU EXPECT TO WORK
Highways and bridges are the most common areas for flaggers to work and maintain traffic. These environments can be stressful, so you should expect a learning curve and be sure you can succeed in these fast-paced areas. Flaggers can find work through general contractors, government agencies, or staffing agencies. Generally speaking, there should be a lot of opportunities out there in this field.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FLAGGER
As emphasized above, flagging can be a very fast-paced and dangerous career. Road work zone hours are usually on a very tight schedule to keep the disruption of traffic at a minimum. Prepare to work night shifts and long hours. You will not be on a fixed schedule, so make sure that you can handle an ever-changing routine. A strong flagger must be a team player and be able to work well off of others. Qualities such as leadership, integrity, and accountability will make you a great flagger and an indisposable part of the team.
WHERE CAN A CAREER IN FLAGGING TAKE ME?
Flaggers can make a great living and have an exciting career path. Road construction is inevitable, creating a constant surge in work for flaggers and construction workers alike. If a career in flagging interests you, go ahead and begin your certification journey. Once you are all set, send your resume to Sandy firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join the team at Traffic & Safety Signs, Inc. You can also check our Careers page at www.trafficandsafetysigns.com. We look forward to hearing from you!