A step up from being a traffic control technician or a roadside flagger for a state’s department of transportation, a traffic control supervisor (TCS) is responsible for implementing scheduled traffic control plans during a road project. Certification requirements and expiration dates vary by state, but some states allow traffic control supervisors certified in other states to work on department of transportation projects.

Traffic Control Experience

To receive a certification as a traffic control supervisor, an individual generally must work as a flagger or in a position that deals with traffic-related tasks in her respective state and have proof of such. Proof can include a state-approved flagging card. In the state of Washington, for example, an individual must have at least 2,000 hours of experience to become a TCS. Experience may include working as a department of transportation inspector, serving as a construction inspector, reviewing or designing traffic control plans, providing traffic control on a survey crew or setting up and taking down traffic control devices.

Proof of Experience

Most states require letters that document an individual’s qualifying experience to work as a traffic control supervisor. The number of letters required differs by state. Such letters of recommendation must come from an employer or a supervisor and a professional resource who can verify an aspiring TCS’s work experience. A letter writer must include his contact information and type the document on company letterhead. If letterhead is not available, some states will allow a letter writer to attach a business card to the document.

TCS Training

TCS training can last two to five days, depending on a state’s certification requirements. The topics covered during training can include the principles surrounding the construction and deconstruction of temporary traffic controls, traffic control provisions surrounding a department of transportation’s project, and creating traffic control plans. Additional subjects may include the use of concrete barriers and speed limits at work zones.

TCS Exam

Following the TCS training is an exam whose length varies by state. Generally, to pass the TCS exam and earn certification an individual must receive a score of 80 percent or higher. TCS hopefuls will be disqualified from earning a certification if caught cheating during the certification exam or providing false information. Certification can be revoked if it is determined a certification holder undertook criminal actions while on a job or lost his job because of incompetence. After passing the test and receiving TCS certification, an individual must recertify within the number of years specified by her respective state’s department of transportation.