(WETM) – The New York State Department of Transportation is actively hiring employees in preparation for this winter.

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 highly 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 the start of employment.

Those hired will be 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 often leads 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.

DOT intends to hire permanent and temporary maintenance workers across the state, including:

  1. Capital Region – 65
  2. Mohawk Valley – 36
  3. Central NY – 34
  4. Finger Lakes – 60
  5. Western NY – 65
  6. Western Southern Tier – 38
  7. Eastern Southern Tier – 38
  8. North Country – 60
  9. Hudson Valley – 90
  10. Long Island – 14

Additionally, the Department is hiring 12 mechanics, including four on Long Island, three in the Hudson Valley, two in the Finger Lakes, two in Western NY and one in Central NY. For mechanic hiring,

Qualified candidates interested in keeping our highways safe this winter can find more information about the positions available and how to apply at https://www.dot.ny.gov/jobs/perm_positions/highway-maintenance-worker.