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City of Torrance
Class Code: 5530

Class Designation: Civil Service

January 2010

Representation Unit: Torrance Municipal Employees
(AFSCME Local 1117) 


Traffic Signal Technician


Under general supervision, maintains, repairs, and performs modifications to traffic signal control equipment, wiring systems, outdoor overhead lighting, and other electrical devices and performs other related work as required.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Distinguished from Traffic and Lighting Supervisor in that the incumbent regularly performs maintenance, repairs and modifications to traffic signal control equipment.  At this level, incumbents work with only occasional instruction or assistance; work requires incumbents to exercise judgment in selecting appropriate guidelines to follow; significant deviations require prior approval.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Supervision is received from the Traffic and Lighting Supervisor. Traffic Signal Technician may provide technical direction to lower level classifications.

Examples Of Essential Duties 

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all-inclusive.
  • The installation, maintenance and repair of City traffic signals, outdoor overhead lighting, signs, pavement markings and other assigned traffic control devices; inspects timing, operations, and/or conditions of signals, markings and signs;
  • Performs skilled electrical work in the installation, operation, general maintenance, repair, and adjustment of traffic signals;
  • Makes field and emergency repairs on traffic signal equipment, such as signal heads, traffic signal standards, detector  loops, video detection and controllers;
  • Repairs of traffic signals and controllers;
  • Assists with relocations and modifications of traffic signals and electronic equipment at street intersections;
  • Installs street traffic detectors, video cameras pedestrian push button units, safety lights and large illuminated traffic signs;
  • Synchronizes traffic signal systems;
  • Cleans, tests, repairs, and overhauls controllers, coordinators, program clocks, computers, and other electric and electronic equipment in the shop;
  • Ensures safe repairs to the City's outdoor overhead lighting systems;
  • Performs scheduled maintenance and group re-lamping on the City's outdoor overhead lighting systems;
  • Tests electronic and electrical circuits, transformers, and other related equipment;
  • Assists with re-wiring of controllers;
  • Checks and adjusts traffic signal coordination and timing, and performs preventive maintenance work;
  • Reads and interprets traffic signal and electrical wiring diagrams, sketches and schematics. Helps repair other electronic or electrical devices or equipment;
  • Maintains and properly utilizes electronic and electrical tools and equipment.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties.
  • Responds to emergency calls during work and after normal working hours;
  • Assists in the training of new and lower classification employees;
  • Maintains and cleans equipment and tools; maintains a clean and orderly workplace;
  • May maintain field reports, and work orders;
  • Performs other related duties.
  • Qualification Guidelines 

    Knowledge of
  • Materials, methods, and equipment used in the modification, maintenance, and repair of electronic and solid state digital control devices including traffic signals;
  • Standard tools, methods, and practices of the electronic and electrician trade;
  • Functions and uses of electrical testing equipment;
  • Functions and uses of hand tools used in electronic and electrical repairs;
  • Wiring practices;
  • Schematic wire size and the proper wire use;
  • Traffic safety procedures and delineation with cones;  
  • Ability to
  • Perform heavy and physically demanding work for lengthy and continuous period of time;
  • Use and operate an aerial boom truck and crane;
  • Use of power and hand tools such as a jackhammer;
  • Read electronic technical manuals;
  • Read and interpret plans, wiring diagrams, blue prints and technical regulations;
  • Set up a jobsite in a safe manner;
  • Access the digital computer to control traffic signal control timing devices;
  • Fit and adjust conduit in the traffic signal installation process;
  • Apply electronic principles and practices;
  • Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with co-workers, the public, other City departments and individuals from other agencies;
  • Exercise sound judgment in stressful situations;
  • Understand and follow detailed oral and written instructions;
  • Speak, read, and write basic English;
  • Maintain basic records, complete reports and perform basic arithmetic computations;
  • Learn City policies and procedures affecting departmental operations, generally City operations and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • License and Certification 

    Possession of a valid California Class C driver's license. 
    Level One International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) Traffic Signal Certificate within six (6) months of appointment (once obtained, must possess and maintain). International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) Level II Signal Electrician - Field Certificate is desirable.
    Education and Experience 
    Any combination of education and experience that would provide the required knowledge and skills required is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Two years of experience in the maintenance, repair, and installation of electrical and electronic equipment that includes at least one year of experience in the maintenance and repair of traffic control equipment. Satisfactory completion of college level courses in electronics and/or computer programming may be substituted for experience on a year-for-year basis.
    Special Requirements
    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:
    Requires the mobility to stand, stoop, reach and bend, and mobility of arms to reach and dexterity of hands to grasp and manipulate small objects.  Requires the ability to stand for long periods, maintain balance and walk long distances.  Requires the ability to frequently lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects which may weigh up to 50 pounds.  Requires the ability to climb ladders of various heights.  May be required to work around moving mechanical parts and electrical equipment in a safe manner. Tasks require color and visual perception and discrimination, as well as oral communications ability.  Work is regularly performed outside in seasonal climate and weather conditions.  May be required to work in inclement weather without effective protection from sun, cold, and rain.  May be required to work within enclosed spaces or at heights above ground level.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Traffic and Lighting Supervisor.