A maintenance worker generally spends their days on highway sites that are in need of repair. They will go to the problem area, assess the situation, and implement the proper solution. In terms of regular highway maintenance, they will perform such duties as paving uneven or damaged highways, painting traffic lines and dividers, and even expanding upon the current highway infrastructure.
A highway worker is also called out during times of extreme weather. In northern climates they will salt the roads in preparation for snowstorms and then operate plows to clear the roads during and after the storms. They will also remove any trees, fallen rocks, or other debris that may block the highway and inhibit traffic.
A highway worker will need to acquire experience and the necessary certifications in order to operate certain heavy machinery such as single and two-man plows, salt trucks, blowers, mowers, forklifts, and cherry pickers, among others. Maintenance workers will also be expected to learn how to care for these machines, including changing the oil, mounting and dismounting the plows, cleaning filters, and other regular maintenance activities. Most highway workers will need to have a valid class C and class D driver's licenses as well as be in good standing with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A highway worker has a physically demanding job and will work in every kind of weather conceivable, and most of their work time will be spent outdoors. They must be able to spend a great deal of time on their feet and lift heavy objects. They must also be able and willing to work along stretches of road where cars will still be traveling at high rates of speed and will often perform the action of directing traffic during construction or other incidents.