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What Does a Signal Maintainer Do?

Article Details
  • Written By: YaShekia King
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Signal maintainers are professionals who strive to ensure that their business’ signals perform at their optimum levels. They typically work at railroad companies and must be in good physical condition in addition to being able to handle emergency situations effectively. An individual who is interested in becoming a signal maintainer usually needs to complete a two-year associate degree in electrical technology, acquire practical experience in this industry, and be able to pass a medical examination.

A signal maintainer has the key responsibility of keeping signals in working order. This type of individual must test a signal’s system of circuits, or paths along which electrical currents travel. He or she also might have to check to make sure that signal batteries are operating properly as well as confirm the functionality of control switches and warning instruments at railroad crossings. For this reason, he or she needs to be very detail-oriented and understand how to use industry diagnostic analysis tools appropriately.

After examining the status of devices in this field, these professionals have to address problems that arise. A signal maintainer must have strong problem-solving skills and enjoy solving puzzles, as he or she troubleshoots parts of signals that fail to operate correctly. In addition, this type of person needs to be comfortable with working in various weather conditions and at high heights when trying to resolve technical issues. Maintainers should know which signal components to repair or replace as necessary and be able to read and interpret technical manuals and blueprints.

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Solid communication and organizational skills are relevant for a position in this career area as well. An individual who wants to become a signal maintainer must be able to monitor which signals have had certain problems and record his or her findings in writing for future reference. The signal maintainer additionally shares information about the results of his or her activities with company managers, who ultimately are responsible for the status of the organization’s devices.

Leading other employees and adhering to government and company regulations is critical in this industry as well. A person who maintains signals might have a team of staff members that he or she must assign particular tasks, and he or she also has to verify the quality of these employees’ work. In addition, a signal maintainer needs to follow safety and health rules when completing daily operations and be prepared to lift heavy items or drive large commercial vehicles, which requires a special license.

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