Career Development

What Does a Flagger Do?

Find out what a flagger does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a flagger.

Flagger are responsible for the safe and efficient movement of traffic through construction zones, road closures, or other areas where there may be a temporary hazard. They use flags, signs, cones, and other devices to alert drivers to upcoming changes in the flow of traffic.

Flagger work is physically demanding and requires attention to detail and excellent communication skills. They must be able to clearly communicate instructions to both motorists and their fellow flaggers while also paying close attention to what’s happening around them at all times.

Flagger Job Duties

Flaggers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Ensuring that construction crews are following safety procedures such as wearing hard hats and using fall protection equipment
  • Monitoring traffic flow and communicating with other workers on site to make sure that work can continue safely
  • Marking hazards such as cracks in the road or poor visibility due to weather conditions
  • Marking work areas with flags or other devices to ensure worker safety and to control traffic flow
  • Directing traffic flow and ensuring that vehicles follow safety guidelines such as keeping a safe distance from work sites
  • Reporting any violations of safety rules to supervisors or authorities
  • Ensuring that construction sites are free from debris or other hazards that could cause accidents or injuries
  • Inspecting work sites for hazardous conditions such as uneven terrain or protruding nails or other sharp objects
  • Reporting any concerns about unsafe conditions to supervisors

Flagger Salary & Outlook

Flagger salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the company size and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $79,500 ($38.22/hour)

The employment of flaggers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

The need to improve the efficiency of road construction projects will lead to an increase in the number of flaggers across the country. As states and localities work to rebuild roads, bridges, and other types of infrastructure, they will need more flaggers to help keep traffic flowing safely.

Related: Flagger Interview Questions and Answers

Flagger Job Requirements

Flaggers typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Flagger positions typically require only a high school diploma or GED. However, some employers may prefer candidates who have completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Those who have a background in construction or related fields may have an advantage over other candidates.

Training & Experience: Flagger training is often part of the training for a new job. The training may include learning the safety procedures and regulations for the job, as well as the specific duties of a flagger. Training may also include learning how to use the flagging equipment and how to communicate with train operators.

Some states require flaggers to complete a training course before working on the tracks. The training course may be part of the certification process. The training course may be online or in-person.

Certifications & Licenses: Flagger certifications prove an individual’s knowledge of safety protocols and procedures. Some states require flagger certification for certain road projects, so certifications can be essential if you live in a state where flagging is common.

Flagger Skills

Flagger need the following skills in order to be successful:

Attention to detail: Flagging requires attention to detail because you need to identify potential hazards and mark them accordingly. You also need to follow the proper procedures for flagging so you can ensure the safety of everyone on the job site. Flagging requires precision, so you need to be able to identify hazards quickly and accurately.

Communication: Flagging requires effective communication with other workers and the public. You can use your communication skills to explain the importance of the job you’re doing and why it’s necessary. You can also use your communication skills to explain the rules and regulations of the job to the public.

Physical stamina: Flagging requires physical stamina because you may be standing for long periods of time. You may also need to walk long distances to access different areas of a construction site. Having good stamina can help you maintain your focus and energy throughout the day.

Teamwork: Flagging requires teamwork between the flagger and the driver of the vehicle. The flagger needs to communicate with the driver to ensure the driver understands the rules and the flagger knows when the vehicle is entering or exiting the work zone. Flagging also requires teamwork between the flagger and the workers in the work zone. The flagger needs to communicate with the workers to ensure they understand the rules and the flagger knows when the workers are entering or exiting the work zone.

Adaptability: Flagging is a dynamic job that requires adaptability. You may be working in a variety of weather conditions, so you need to be able to adapt to the changing environment. You may also be working on a variety of projects, so you need to be able to adapt to the changing needs of your employer.

Flagger Work Environment

Flagging is a physically demanding job that requires workers to be on their feet for long periods of time in all weather conditions. Flagging is also a very dangerous job, as workers are exposed to high-speed traffic and heavy equipment. Because of the dangers involved, flaggers must be constantly alert and must follow all safety procedures. Flagging jobs are often found on construction sites, but flaggers may also work in other settings, such as directing traffic around an accident scene. The hours for this job vary, but flaggers typically work 40 hours per week, although they may be required to work overtime or odd hours, such as nights and weekends.

Flagger Trends

Here are three trends influencing how flaggers work. Flaggers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Specialized Labor

The construction industry is becoming increasingly specialized, which is leading to a greater need for flagger professionals.

As the industry becomes more complex, there is a growing demand for professionals who have specific training and experience in certain areas. This means that flagger professionals will need to be able to specialize in order to stay competitive.

More Focus on Sustainability

As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, businesses are beginning to focus on sustainability as a core value. This means that flagger professionals will need to be familiar with sustainable practices and how to implement them into their work.

By understanding the importance of sustainability, flagger professionals can help businesses reduce their impact on the environment while also improving their bottom line. In addition, they can educate other employees about the benefits of sustainability and how to incorporate it into their daily work.

A Greater Emphasis on Quality Control

Quality control has become an increasingly important aspect of the construction industry, as clients are looking for contractors who can provide high-quality work.

Flagger professionals can capitalize on this trend by developing expertise in quality control procedures. This will allow them to ensure that projects are completed according to specifications and meet the needs of clients.

How to Become a Flagger

A flagger career can be a great way to get started in the construction industry. It’s a physically demanding job that requires you to be on your feet all day, but it also offers many opportunities for advancement. You could eventually become a supervisor or even a project manager.

To become a flagger, you need to have a strong understanding of traffic control regulations and procedures. You should also be able to read and understand road signs and markings. Additionally, you should be able to communicate effectively with other workers and motorists.

Advancement Prospects

There are many opportunities for advancement for those in the flagging profession. Some flaggers may move up to become supervisors, working with a team of flaggers to direct traffic. Others may become construction inspectors, working with construction crews to ensure that traffic safety laws are being followed. With experience, some flaggers may become traffic control specialists, working with city planners to develop traffic safety plans for new construction projects or special events.

Flagger Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are committed to the safety of our employees, customers, and the general public. We are looking for a flagger to join our team and help us maintain a safe work environment. The ideal candidate will have experience with traffic control and safety procedures. He or she will be responsible for directing traffic around construction sites and ensuring that pedestrians and motorists are safe. The flagger will also be responsible for setting up and maintaining traffic cones, barrels, and other traffic control devices.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the first point of contact with the motoring public, providing directions and/or information as needed
  • Work zone set up which includes but is not limited to unloading trucks, placing traffic control devices, and connecting power
  • Perform daily inspections of equipment and materials to be used in the work zone
  • Maintain a clean and safe work area throughout the shift
  • Respond to emergencies within the work zone and take appropriate action
  • Notify supervisor of any problems or concerns that arise during the shift
  • Keep track of time worked and materials used during the shift
  • Follow all safety rules and regulations
  • Adhere to company policies and procedures
  • Assist other crew members as needed
  • Report any incidents or accidents that occur during the shift
  • Complete all required paperwork accurately and legibly

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions
  • Basic math skills
  • Valid driver’s license

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Previous experience working as a flagger or in construction
  • First Aid/CPR certification
  • OSHA 10-hour certification
  • Bilingual


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