Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Traffic Flagger?
Updated: Mar 26
Are you interested in traffic management? Do you like to work outside? Becoming a traffic flagger may be the right career move for you.
While many people may not even notice traffic flaggers in work zones, the truth is our job is crucial to the success of a project. We ensure that traffic is impacted as little as possible, but that construction workers can move equipment as needed. Without our help in work zones, crashes and fatalities would increase exponentially.
Education and Training Required
At Directional Traffic, we don’t require our flaggers to have any experience prior to joining the team, although experience is always nice to have! We provide all of our flaggers with training hours in ATSSA Flagger Certification training by our ATSSA Certified Instructors.
The National Safety Council has a certification course for novice flaggers. This course teaches you how to safely direct traffic through a work area. It has been reviewed by the Office of Highway Safety, the Federal Highway Administration, and several state Departments of Transportation. Because it meets all federal guidelines, this is a great course to take in order to get your flagging certification.
However, due to the unprecedented global health pandemic, there are also online traffic management courses you can take. The American Traffic Safety Services Association offers an online course that is accepted in most states if you’re working on a state project. We recommend this online course be taken in conjunction with hands-on training or as a recertification option.
The state of Pennsylvania requires that all traffic flaggers successfully complete a certification course every three years. Every flagger must also carry a card that identifies their certification completion with them while working. At Directional Traffic, all of our flaggers carry an ATSSA flagger certification card.
Directional Traffic operates in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. This means that our Traffic Managers have to go to Maryland for additional training. This course, known as the Temporary Traffic Control Traffic Manager Course (TTCTM course), teaches our Managers about the fundamentals of TTC and SHA’s Standards and Specifications and typical applications.
What We Look For
At Directional Traffic, we look for employees that will work well with our existing team. Traffic management is about teamwork, organization, and dedication. If communication fails on a project, drivers, pedestrians, and road workers could get seriously hurt. It’s up to our flaggers to keep the community safe through excellent traffic management.
When adding a new flagger to our team, we look for individuals that value honesty, teamwork, commitment, and are detail-oriented. Our flagging teams rely on every member of the team to show up with 110 percent focus every work day. Each team is only as strong as the weakest link, so we strive to hire team members who are dedicated to keeping the communities we work in safe and who understand the importance of their job.
Is the Life of a Flagger for You?
People who work in traffic management must be able to cope with odd hours and temperature changes. In order to maintain the flow of traffic and hinder the surrounding communities as little as possible, road work often happens at odd hours. Projects can often occur overnight or start early in the morning. While work does stop if road conditions are unsafe for workers (such as rain, snow, or reduced visibility), traffic flaggers work in a wide range of weather. It’s important that you’re prepared for the summer heat and the cold Pennsylvania winters. If you’d rather sit at a desk and stare at a computer screen all day-- this is not the job for you. But if you enjoy working outdoors and seeing new parts of the state almost every day, then the life of a traffic flagger might be for you.
In a large corporate setting, you may only see your coworkers around the water cooler. Knowing everyone in the office may even be near impossible. But when you’re working with a small business in traffic management, you’ll be on a first-name basis with all of your coworkers. Our teams work closely together. If you like to work with others and are invested in the lives of your colleagues, then you might be surprised at how much you enjoy the camaraderie of a traffic management team.
As a traffic flagger, no day is exactly the same. Traffic management projects can take you all over Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. Each work zone has unique challenges that must be accommodated. For example, some communities may have greatly increased cyclist traffic. Other more rural communities may not be expecting to come around a bend on a scenic back road and come face to face with construction. In these situations, it’s important to stay extremely vigilant even if there isn’t a lot of continuous traffic.
At Directional Traffic, we prioritize hiring the right people with the right attitude. While we like to see prior experience in traffic management, it’s not a requirement. We’re happy to train the right candidate into a great traffic flagger! We pride ourselves on creating a supportive team environment for our employees with opportunities for growth for the right candidates. If you’re someone who enjoys making a difference in the day to day life of others, likes to work with a team, and is committed to their responsibilities, then we want to hire you.
Fill out an application on our website: https://www.directionaltraffic.com/traffic-control-employment