Bridge and Lock Tenders
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Speciality
Overview
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Operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages. May supervise such operations. Includes drawbridge operators, lock operators, and slip bridge operators.
Titles for this career often contain these words
OperatorTenderLockBridgeDamRepairerLevermanCrossingAttendantDrawbridgeKeeperCrewMemberOpenerSlipSawBridgemanChiefWatchmanAssistantDrawGateLighthouseMasterLockmanLocksMarineTowerStationGateman
Education
Only 14% of specialized transportation workers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by specialized transportation workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer specialized transportation workers have bachelor's degrees than 67% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Bridge and lock tenders, with 3,300 workers, form a smaller workforce than 96% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for bridge and lock tenders are expected to grow by 3%, and should have about 400 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Bridge and lock tenders are more likely to be automated than 91% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for bridge and lock tenders compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most bridge and lock tenders earn.
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 15% of specialized transportation workers -- that's a smaller percentage than 72% of other jobs.
Gender of specialized transportation workers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For specialized transportation workers, the median men's salary was 7% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 32% of specialized transportation workers are minority, and 14% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of specialized transportation workers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (14%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Bridge and Lock Tenders per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of bridge and lock tenders who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Consequence of Error (66%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (51%)
  • Time Pressure (48%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (45%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (44%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (44%)
  • Degree of Automation (42%)
  • Exposed to High Places (41%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (41%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do specialized transportation workers earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (bridge and lock tenders). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for bridge and lock tenders (BLS Salary Data)
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all specialized transportation workers.
Distribution: Salaries for specialized transportation workers (ACS Salary Data)
$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Specialized Transportation Workers: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $31KAll jobs' median $45K$25K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire bridge and lock tenders.
Employers of Specialized Transportation Workers (ACS)
Private for-profit (64.0%)
Private not-for-profit (2.1%)
Local government (13.1%)
State government (7.1%)
Federal government (11.9%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.0%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of specialized transportation workers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of specialized transportation workers, which combines the 3 specialties for this career.
$42K$40K$57K$43K$50K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of bridge and lock tenders by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty bridge and lock tenders, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$50K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for specialized transportation workers

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$51K$57K$31K$34K$30K$45K$51K$46K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
01K2K3K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Specialized transportation workers and gender

With 15% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 72% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Specialized transportation workers
Men (85%)
Women (15%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for specialized transportation workers, with the median salary for men 7% higher than the median salary for women.

$40K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Specialized transportation workers have one of the smaller inequity calculations, with the increase for men's median salary over women's median salary in this job lower than that for 79% of other jobs.

7%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of specialized transportation workers

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a higher percentage of minority specialized transportation workers than for 90% of other careers. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of specialized transportation workers
White (64% )
Black (22% )
Other (5% )
Asian (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Pacific Islander (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
32%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
14%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for specialized transportation workers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$36K$45K$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KBlackWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for specialized transportation workers by nativity
$41K$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Specialized transportation workers and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 13% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 51% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for full-time workers.

$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by bridge and lock tenders

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bridge and lock tenders typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as specialized transportation workers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Education attained by specialized transportation workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for specialized transportation workers? Below we see the distribution of specialized transportation workers salaries based on the education attained.

$41K$40K$53K$51K$76K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KHigh School (43%)Some College (30%)Associate's/Cert. (10%)Bachelor's Degree (11%)Doctorate (0%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Switching Careers
The most common next careers for specialized transportation workers

What jobs will most specialized transportation workers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of specialized transportation workers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Specialized Transportation WorkersCashiersAutomotive Service Technicians and MechanicsFirst-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales WorkersCustomer Service RepresentativesCooksStockers and Order FillersReservation/Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel ClerksSpecialized vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, andrepairersFirst-Line Supervisors of Personal Care and Service WorkersLaborers and Freight, Stock, and By-Hand Material MoversAircraft Mechanics and Service TechniciansBaggage porters, bellhops, and conciergesDriver/sales workers and truck driversBuilding CleanersFirst-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and RepairersBus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
Lateral job transitions for specialized transportation workers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 11 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as specialized transportation workers as well as 1% of respondents after working as specialized transportation workers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for specialized transportation workers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as specialized transportation workers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of specialized transportation workers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most bridge and lock tenders? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as bridge and lock tenders. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all specialized transportation workers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Bridge and Lock Tenders per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.10.10.10.20.3
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where bridge and lock tenders earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for specialized transportation workers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for specialized transportation workers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all specialized transportation workers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Bridge and Lock Tenders (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which bridge and lock tenders earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
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All education levels
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