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Bridge and Lock Tenders

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What is a Bridge & Lock Tender?

Bridge & Lock Tender Definition Operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages. May supervise such operations. Includes drawbridge operators, lock operators, and slip bridge operators.

Life as a Bridge & Lock Tender: What Do They Do?

  • Write and submit maintenance work requisitions.
  • Log data such as water levels and weather conditions.
  • Maintain and guard stations in bridges to check waterways for boat traffic.
  • Prepare accident reports.
  • Attach ropes or cable lines to bitts on lock decks or wharfs to secure vessels.
  • Record names, types, and destinations of vessels passing through bridge openings or locks, and numbers of trains or vehicles crossing bridges.

Bridge & Lock Tender Required Skills

When polled, Bridge and Lock Tenders say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

  • Dam Operator
  • Draw Operator
  • Tender
  • Bridge Operator, Slip
  • Bridge Leverman

Job Opportunities for Bridge and Lock Tenders

In the United States, there were 3,700 jobs for Bridge and Lock Tenders in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.9% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Bridge and Lock Tenders by 2026. There will be an estimated 400 positions for Bridge & Lock Tender per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Bridge and Lock Tenders in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Bridge and Lock Tenders are Louisiana, New York, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in West Virginia, Washington, or Texas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Bridge and Lock Tenders

The average yearly salary of a Bridge & Lock Tender ranges between $24,490 and $63,620. A Bridge and Lock Tender median salary is $50,320.

Salary Ranges for Bridge and Lock Tenders

How much do Bridge and Lock Tenders make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary









West Virginia


















New Jersey




New York


South Carolina














Tools & Technologies Used by Bridge and Lock Tenders

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Bridge and Lock Tenders may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Excel

Where Bridge and Lock Tenders Are Employed

Bridge & Lock Tender Sectors


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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