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Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 3:51 PM

Hello everyone,

First I guess Ill start off with some information about my background. I am currently working for my family business. We specialize in Traffic Signs (Both permanent and temporary construction signs), traffic control/road safety supplies and equipment sales and rentals. I have been in this industry my whole life (even before i was technically able to legally work lol). My grandfather started one of the largest traffic control companies on the western side of the united states. My father helped run it even after my grandfather sold it to an investment group. After a decade or so my father and the firm just couldn't see eye to eye on the direction of the company and my father quit to start his own company. Since then they have gone bankrupt. I started "working" for my dad's company when i was about 13, although since i wasn't old enough to legally work i guess you could call it chores. Ive done everything. from cleaning the bathrooms, pulling orders, making signs, deliveries, lane closures, sign installations the list goes on and on..... there isn't a job in the company that i haven't personally done. Now I am 29 and I have worked my way up to "shop manager" although most of the time it doesn't feel that way. I work "with" my dad and i oversee the production of all the signs, I make sure everyone is being productive and ensure that the customer is getting everything they order. Our customer base is mostly private contractors doing work for cities, counties or State DOT (i don't want to say the state because I don't know who might be on this forum and i don't want this finding it's way back to my boss) but we also do a lot of work directly for more than 50% of the cities in my county (public works, public utilities etc.). So as you can tell my experience in the traffic industry is pretty extensive.

Now that I have gained my experience I't causes conflict between my father and I since he has been the one person in charge his whole life. So he doesn't take kindly to being told hes wrong and that there's a better way of doing things. I'm not saying hes wrong all the time but as they say "there's more than one way to skin a cat" there's also more than one way to run a company. Pretty much the work environment is horrible and extremely stressful. Not to mention the 60hr work weeks... which I didn't mind until my daughter was born 4 months ago and I now see how important time is. So when i get to work at 5:00am and leave at 5:00pm get home at 5:30 i only have about 4 hours to spend with my daughter before i need to be in bed. I can hardly take any time off without hearing about it. My father game me attitude when i asked to work 2 half days after my daughter was born so i can help my wife get everything set up at home. After dealing with it for years ive finally had enough. Now I still value my relationship with my dad so i couldn't possible go work for one of our competitors.... So the only thing I can really think of is to get a job for the people I have been doing work for. I looked online and there are a couple openings for civil/traffic engineers in a couple of cities in my area and I noticed that some require an engineering degree and some just put down "Degree Desirable".

So my question is pretty simple. With my background and knowledge in the traffic industry, do you think I have any chance and landing a job even without an engineering degree?

Any input would be appreciated. thanks guys

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#1

Re: Getting a job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 4:19 PM

Welcome.

Posting a thread in more than one section is a no-no.

Read the FAQs.

The first thing you will need is a certification by ATSSA.

Some cities, such as my fair city, also require a year of experience in addition to certification.

What are the Qualifications to Become a Traffic Control ...

City of Mesa - Transportation ASSISTANT TRAFFIC ...

Street Transportation Right-of-Way Management

You might start with a small city and work up to larger cities later.

It has been my experience that good barricading companies are hard to find so you might want to consider starting your own barricading company.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Getting a job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 5:20 PM

[It has been my experience that good barricading companies are hard to find so you might want to consider starting your own barricading company.]

Too much capital is needed... not to mention the fact that my dad has all the best suppliers locked up. If he wanted to he could have me shut out with one phone call. It's just too much of a risk to take especially right now since my first child is only 4 months old and my wife and I are planning to have 2 more in the next 3 years. So if 60 hours a week is bad now, starting my own would be worse. I could open one in a different state but my wife has a zero tolerance for moving far away from our families. I'd be better off working for a competitor. But my ultimate goal is to find a new job and keep my relationship with my father in tact. I know that parents should want whats best for their kids and it only matters as long as they're happy but hey, it is what it is lol.

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#3

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 5:46 PM

What contributors to the forum think doesn't matter. It is what the employer thinks that matters. Only by applying for vacancies in that sector can the applicant gather that information.

So get a current CV together, and start making applications into that sector. Anything else is a complete waste of time.

And make sure the CV is easier to read than those two massive paragraphs; turning a potential employer off with text that bulky is so easy.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 5:58 PM

"What contributors to the forum think doesn't matter. It is what the employer thinks that matters. Only by applying for vacancies in that sector can the applicant gather that information."

I appreciate your input but you wouldn't go on a journey into the unknown without a map would you? I'm considering journeying into the unknown so I'm seeking out advice from people who have been there. I figured its better than just jumping in head first and risk losing my current job in the process of finding a new one.

Also my first post was made on my phone while I was at lunch. But thank you for the irrelevant criticism.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 6:14 PM

Sometimes you have no choice but to start your journey without a map. You can put one together as you go.

However, insulting people who are trying to help you is not the best way to get help. You probably still have a lot to learn from your father. After all, he has run his business for years. You on the other hand . . . .

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 6:18 PM

"However, insulting people who are trying to help you is not the best way to get help"

Who did I insult?

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 6:27 PM

PWSlack "....But thank you for the irrelevant criticism."

That's the kind of snarky response I would expect from a teenager.

There is an amazing wealth of knowledge and hard-earned experience on this forum if you know how to access it. You might notice that PWSlack has somewhere in the range of 24,000 postings and his peers deemed that 625 of them were worthy of special attention.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 6:36 PM

"That's the kind of snarky response I would expect from a teenager."

I'll have you know that I haven't been a teenager for 50 years and my snark is still top notch.

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#20
In reply to #11

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 2:13 PM

It's hereditary. We learn it from our kids.

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#31
In reply to #20

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

03/01/2016 9:01 AM

I was told it was from bad genes..... lyn should consider getting a new pair.

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 7:03 PM

I wouldn't call it snarky.... more like sarcastic... Look, I understand the importance of sentence and paragraph structure when applying for a job. But I'm not applying for a job here. It's a forum.... I felt criticizing my paragraph structure was irrelevant and off subject.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 7:28 PM

From your original post: "Any input would be appreciated".

"ANY" being a non-ambiguous term, I don't understand your lack of appreciation for truthful input.

Going back to the pond analogy, there are sharks swimming here, too. You'd best be wearing your mesh suit when you jump in.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 7:47 PM

you know, most people would read that at automatically know that i meant any input pertaining to the subject of the forum thread.... but then again i forget where im at.

Going back to the pond analogy, it was ignorant and condescending... I came here for advice and he tells me to go find a smaller pond? People like him have a name, and they're called a-------.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 8:00 PM

Mark Twain said it best: "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."

Good luck getting a job with that attitude.

I'm not going to argue with you. Goodbye!

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#19
In reply to #13

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 2:11 PM

Again, if YOU are asking for help, MY advice to you is to tactfully ignore anything you might think is irrelevant at your own peril of course. To tell someone that they provided you irrelevant advice is to say that THEIR efforts to help YOU was not appreciated. (That's a slap in the face by the way.) If you were PAYING for this advice, you then have the right to be critical. My guess is that PWSlack will be a lot less likely to provide free advice to you in the future but he might be a much better person than me.

What you apparently don't understand is that people skills are way more important than technical skills because few people are able to effectively operate alone.

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#4

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 5:47 PM

What are you selling?

What is in it for the employer?

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#6

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 6:05 PM

PWSlack makes a good point about clear concise paragraphs.

When I review resume's, I look for a single paragraph describing each attribute the applicant wants me to consider.

Maximize your relevant experience if you have no degree. Smaller cities will be more receptive to your lack of a degree.

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#7

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 6:13 PM

You are a small fish in a large pond...In a smaller pond, you will be a bigger fish....Go find a smaller pond to swim in....

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 6:40 PM

lol funny how a lot of the big fish with big fish peaces of paper (degrees) come to me. I understand you spent a lot of money on your degree but calling me a little fish is just plain ignorant.

Let me guess... you're one of those engineers who would break out their spec and send back a 36sf highway sign because the letter height was 4mm off of spec? even though its going on a highway where the speed limit is 70mph... There's a difference between being school and educated. One requires a piece of paper and one does not.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 7:06 PM

Someone who thinks they are smarter than the rules will not be successful in a world of bean counters...With age comes a thorough understanding of liability...You begin to sound more and more like a spoiled brat...and I'm beginning to think you're lucky to have the position you do have....

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/27/2016 7:57 PM

lol that answers my question right there... i find it ironic that you're the one being condescending and calling me names and yet I'm the spoiled brat. You paid for you education. I earned it.
Now I am in no way belittling the time and effort (also money) people put into getting their degree. We took different paths to get to the same destination. But it doesn't give you the right to put yourself on a pedestal and be an a------.

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 2:17 PM

Kiddo, you have sooooooo much to learn, but you shall reap the harvest of the seeds you sow. I wish you the best of luck. You'll need it.

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#24
In reply to #21

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 3:48 PM

If bending over and taking people's condescending insults is something i need to lean then I'll pass...

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 6:28 PM

"If bending over and taking people's condescending insults is something i need to lean..." Offhand, that sounds like an intended insult.

So, yes, learning how to take insults is part of growing up.

Apparently, not so much a part of outcome-based education.

Take heart and be brave my geriatric (or nearly so) brethren. This fellow gets a vote on deciding how we spend our golden years.

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 7:55 PM

Suit yourself. <unsubscribes>

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#27
In reply to #12

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

02/18/2016 4:18 AM

Off spec is OFF SPEC ! You did not give the customer what he ordered which makes you " one of those" suppliers. Stay where you are nobody else will want you.

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#29
In reply to #12

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

02/18/2016 4:49 AM

That " peace " of paper took at least 4 or 5 years to get. I doubt that a guy with your attitude would make the cut.

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#22

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 2:18 PM

Did I drink some bad tequila or was this thread really shut down by Admin because little Timmy was being an a------?

I think it would have been better to leave it in the morgue.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

01/29/2016 3:43 PM

lol.... you people truly amaze me. I ask for advice about getting an engineering job without a degree, then i get one guy criticizing my paragraphs (irrelevant to the subject of the thread) and another calling me a little fish and to go find a smaller pond... and yet somehow I'm the asshole for defending myself. But I will at lease say thanks to you Lyn for giving me some useful information on your first comment. I don't blame you for getting behind the people who were attacking me. It's natural... like the old saying goes "birds of a feather flock together".

To be honest though, I was expecting something like this to happen... Because it's been my experience with Engineers that they tend to be narcissistic, and in extreme cases like Solar Eagle just straight up pricks. So to make themselves feel important they belittle anyone how they see as beneath them (pretty much anyone without an Engineering degree). To be fare not ALL Engineers are like this. I have met some that are extremely friendly and laid back, but they are usually Engineers that started out like me. They worked their way up in the industry before they got their degree. It makes you immune to the bullshit...

But again, thanks Lyn for your help. Even if you did imply that I'm a fool... but hey at least you did it with a Mark Twain quote lol. One of my favorite quotes from him (in general for that matter) is "never let schooling interfere with your education".

I also hope that you're not drinking tequila (good or bad) on a Thursday night....

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#28
In reply to #23

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

02/18/2016 4:33 AM

I drink JD on Thursday nights. I have a 4 day work week and my work week is over ( 4 days of 12 to 16 hours each). So sometimes I NEED a drink. I might need a drink after reading your posts. Good luck in your quest .... It will be a quest.

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#30

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

02/29/2016 11:15 PM

NO!

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#32

Re: Getting a Job as a Traffic Engineer (No Engineering Degree)

03/01/2016 9:02 AM

After reading the posts, I have a question.

How recently did the transition of doing chores changed to a job?

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