Traffic Technicians: Salary Overview
Traffic technicians conduct field studies to determine factors that are influencing traffic conditions, such as volume, speed, the effectiveness of signals, and lightning adequacy.
They work on recently constructed roads, but they may also work as a researcher and assist civil engineers by collecting data.
Traffic technicians collect data about traffic and may use radar equipment in order to analyze the traffic flow.
Most of them work in the public sector or for companies that are contracted by local or state governments to help solve traffic problems.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for traffic technicians was $45,670 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries in this profession vary depending on a wide range of factors, including experience and education level, salary, and industry of employment.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,880 per year, while the top 10 percent made more than $76,430 annually.
The 25 percentile for this occupation is $35,330, which means that 75 percent of all workers earned more than this.
Traffic Technician Salary by Industry and State of Employment
Most traffic technicians work for local governments or for state governments but they also hold jobs in the industry of architectural, engineering, and related services in the field of other professional, scientific, and technical services or other support services.
Traffic technicians who worked for local governments reportedly earned $50,950 per year, on average while those who were employed by state governments made $46,740 on average.
The average annual wage was $47,450 for traffic technicians in the field of architectural, engineering, and related services and $45,350 for those in the industry of other professional, scientific, and technical services.
Salaries for this profession also vary depending on the region and the industry of employment.
The top-paying states for this profession in 2019 were Nevada, California, and Washington- states where traffic technicians were remunerated with more than $60,000 per year, on average.
Traffic technicians in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and Indiana, on the other hand, reported wages that averaged at less than $40,000 annually.
The top-paying metropolitan area for this occupation was San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA metropolitan division- a region where the average annual wage reported by workers in this profession was $79,590- significantly higher than the average for this profession across all regions.
Salary by Skills and Experience Level
A traffic technician’s total earnings are also determined by his/her level of skills.
Know how to use computer software programs to design traffic lights and signs is an important asset in this profession.
Having good communication skills can also be a plus, since this occupation may involve public speaking and answering traffic-related questions from the public and city officials.
Experience also plays an important role in determining a traffic technician’s wage.
As an entry-level employee, your salary will typically be closer to the minimum for this profession but as you earn experience in the field your earning prospects will increase.
Although a civil engineering bachelor’s degree is not a requirement for this profession, earning a degree in this sector can give you better employment prospects and may even help you advance to a civil engineer position.
The median annual wage reported by civil engineers was $87,060 as of May 2019- which is almost double the median salary reported by traffic technicians.
So if you want to significantly increase your earning potential, a degree in civil engineering is definitely a good idea.
After earning your degree and a few years of experience you may even apply for a Profesional Engineer license which will give you more independence and will qualify you for better-paid supervisory positions.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Traffic Technicians. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.