Industry Assessments

Introduction

Retaining a workforce is critical to continued success and development of an agency’s TSMO program.  Throughout the workforce development cycle, agencies spend a significant amount of resources on their existing employees, both in terms of upfront costs for recruitment and onboarding as well as recurring costs such as on-going training.  As such, when an existing employee changes roles or leaves the organization, there can be both a loss of knowledge as well as a financial drain as more resources are needed to identify, recruit, and hire a replacement.  As such, workforce retention is a vital part of a successful TSMO program.  This chapter discusses strategies and best practices to help agencies retain their workforce.

Evolution of Existing Traffic Engineering, Transportation Planning and ITS Positions

Job Title

General Summary of Position

Future Roles and Responsibilities

Traffic Engineer

Position is primarily responsible for applying principles and practices from civil engineering for the traffic operations of roads, streets, highways, and their networks to achieve a safe, efficient, and convenient movement of people and goods.  This position is also responsible for traffic operations studies, such as safety studies, intersection operations studies, traffic impact studies, interstate operation studies, interchange modification report, traffic signal timing studies, and signal warrant studies.

  • Use spatial data, such as geographic information system and relevant spatial analyses and statistics, for data-driven decision making.
  • Advocate for the appropriate TSMO countermeasures during the planning, design, and construction of highway projects as appropriate.
  • Consider connected and automated vehicles impacts on traffic operations.

Traffic Signal Engineer

Position is responsible for all aspects of traffic signals, from design to operation.  The successful candidate will have extensive experience in the field of traffic signal design, implementation, maintenance, and operations.  This position may also be responsible for operating the Traffic Management Center and coordinating the activities of assigned staff to respond to citizens’ complaints regarding traffic signal issues.  This position is also responsible for emergency traffic signal operations within the region. 

  • Incorporate integrated corridor management techniques into the operations of traffic signals.
  • Consider connected and automated vehicles impacts on traffic signal operations.
  • Effectively use geographic information system and other analytical tools, such as Excel, SPSS/STATA, traffic simulation and signal timing software (e.g.VISSIM, CORSIM, Synchro), etc., to create information from data that enhances operational decision making.

Freeway Operations Engineer

Position is primarily responsible for development, evaluation, and deployment of new technology related to traffic engineering and ITS along the freeway system.  This position is also responsible for overseeing and monitoring the continued deployment and enhancement of incident management, and other active traffic management techniques with an emphasis on system efficiency, cost effectiveness, and community acceptance.

  • Incorporate integrated corridor management techniques into the operations of freeway facilities.
  • Consider connected and automated vehicles impacts on freeway operations.Consider and manage new techniques such as automated vehicle only lanes.
  • Take a multimodal approach to freeway operations.
  • Use real-time data to make real-time operational decisions.Implement and use prediction software to make operational decisions.

Arterial Operations Engineer

Position is primarily responsible for development, evaluation and deployment of new technology related to traffic engineering and ITS along the arterial network.  The successful candidate will provide liaison with other governmental agencies and the public for coordination of active arterial management projects/programs in the region.  This position is also responsible for performing field observations of traffic conditions to validate concerns or inquiries and evaluate/make recommendations relating to the application of new technology to support the agency’s vision and mission.

  • Incorporate integrated corridor management techniques into the operations of arterial facilities.
  • Consider connected and automated vehicles impacts on arterial operations.
  • Take a multimodal approach to arterial operations.
  • Use real-time data to make real-time operational decisions.Implement and use prediction software to make operational decisions.
  • Identify, analyze, and interpret trends or patterns in complex data sets.

ITS Design Engineer

Position is primarily responsible for the design of ITS projects.  The successful candidate will prepare project plans and specifications related to ITS elements such as fiber optic cable systems, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, Microwave Vehicle Detection System (MVDS), Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), etc., while applying the systems engineering process. 

  • Integrate connected vehicles into ITS design.For example, add dedicated short-range communication or 5G connectivity as needed.
  • Use modern technology in ITS design.

ITS Planner

Position is responsible for planning and developing ITS projects, including preparing documents that follow the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) systems engineering process.  The successful candidate will be responsible for completing transportation planning and feasibility studies for DOTs, MPOs, and local municipalities. 

  • Utilize big data to analyze benefits of TSMO strategies and implement if feasible.
  • Mainstream TSMO into the project planning process.
  • Implement modeling for analysis, visualization, planning, and training related to TSMO programs.
  • Perform scenario planning to plan for connected and automated vehicles.

Transportation Planner

Position is responsible for long-range transportation planning and considering safety, environmental, and efficiency issues in areas such as land use, infrastructure analysis, environmental compliance, and corridor planning.  This position allocates resources to initiate and develop projects, and is responsible for the identification of needs, the preparation of plans and estimates, and adherence to regulations. 

  • Mainstream TSMO into the project planning process.
  • Integrate management and operations strategies into the metropolitan transportation planning process to maximize the performance of the existing and planned transportation system.
  • Implement modeling for analysis, visualization, planning, and training related to TSMO programs.
  • Take a multimodal approach transportation planning.
  • Use scenario planning to understand range of potential TSMO impacts

 

 

Additional Resources from States

 Arkansas

 Florida

 Georgia

Kentucky

 Louisiana

 Mississippi

 North Carolina

Puerto Rico

 South Carolina

 Virginia

 West Virginia