The New York State Department of Transportation is preparing for the inevitable arrival of winter weather by making applications available for approximately 500 positions as permanent and seasonal maintenance staff across Upstate New York and Long Island.
Each September, the Department begins to hire and train staff on equipment and best practices, with the aim of having them ready to plow snow as soon as winter weather begins.
Employees can expect a base salary plus likely overtime pay, training provided by professional and experienced equipment operator instructors and storm managers, and an allowance for footwear.
Applications are being accepted for the Highway Maintenance Worker Trainee positions. To apply, a candidate must be at least 18 years old, pass a physical and drug test, have a valid, clean Class A or B commercial driver license, and be certified to operate DOT heavy dump trucks within two weeks after start of employment.
Those hired are trained and evaluated on several pieces of essential equipment and are expected to perform productive work while gaining experience. Physical labor is required, as is work with backhoes, front end loaders, stump grinders and other heavy equipment, while being trained on more complex equipment.
Returning seasonal employees and retirees qualify for the Highway Maintenance Worker 1 position. Those employees are expected to operate a variety of equipment, including hydraulic excavators, graders, bulldozers, and more, and are required to perform other maintenance activities, such as mounting and dismounting plows, making small equipment repairs and changing oil. Temporary employment can lead to a permanent position for the right candidates.
During the winter, maintenance workers primarily assist in snow and ice removal, but also are expected to perform general highway repairs and maintenance such as cold patching. Shifts vary depending on location, but run from early morning to early afternoon, and from early afternoon to late evening. During storms, those eight-hour shifts can be extended to form two, 12-hour shifts to ensure 24 hour a day, seven day a week snow and ice response.
The State Department of Transportation employs approximately 3,700 full time snow and ice operators and supervisors, as well as an estimated 300 seasonal operators. They are responsible for pre-treating, plowing and removing ice from more than 36,000 miles of roadway.
Qualified candidates who are interested can find more information about the positions available and how to apply online.
Photo of snow plow provided by DOT.