Road construction projects help to ensure better and safer roads as well as improve overall traffic flow. However, these projects can cause significant disruption to the daily commute, making the processing time consuming and frustrating. A construction sign holder, also known as a highway flagger, plays a crucial role in controlling traffic at the construction site. This not only promotes the efficient flow of traffic but also enhances the safety of both drivers and construction crews. It is important to have a flagger at both ends of the site for the entire duration of the project.

Highway flaggers are constantly exposed to danger in the line of duty, especially when it is dark. An accident caused by a distracted driver can result in disability or death. So how much do construction sign holders make? The average pay for a flagger is about $17,000 per year or between $15 and $20 per hour. However, there are certain situations in which a flagger will earn as much as $50 per hour.

Is This a Good Job?

You need to understand what it takes to become a flagger and the nature of the job to determine if it is right for you. Here is what to know:

A construction sign holder should have good communication skills to communicate effectively with their fellow flaggers, the site supervisors, and drivers. Flaggers should also have great physical health as they have to be on their feet for extended periods, move traffic cones, and clear debris. Lastly, they need to be alert and anticipate safety hazards and prevent them in good time.

Flaggers work at different road construction sites to ensure a smooth flow of traffic. They can be contractors for private companies, government agencies, or find work through staffing agencies that serve construction companies. Considering the danger, they are exposed to and the tight schedule associated with construction projects, this is a fast-paced job that requires one to be alert. Flaggers also work with their team members and must be ready to work long hours.

Do You Need a License to be a Flagger?

You do not need a formal degree to become a construction sign holder. However, many states will require that people interested in doing the job get certified. There are a number of ways through which potential flaggers can get the necessary certification. Some companies will offer training and certification to their new employees. Another option is to attend local community colleges and special agencies whose instructors have been approved by the Department of Transportation. These programs cover topics such as safety regulations, road signs, hand signals, and flagging techniques. Upon completing the course, you will be required to take and pass a test before receiving a certification card.

Requirements for flagger certification vary by state. However, most states will require that you have a current driver’s license and a current flagger certification I.D whenever you are on the job site. This will ensure you meet the requirements of the Department of Transportation.

Is it Dangerous to be a Flagger?

A flagger usually directs drivers in a work zone, effectively ensuring that traffic flows both quickly and safely. This job is not only challenging but also involves some degree of risk. Some drivers who are in a hurry may drive dangerously past highway workers. Others will take out their anger on flaggers while distracted drivers can run a flagger over. Apart from the real dangers posed by careless drivers, flaggers also work long hours under the blazing sun or in the cold of the night.


There are several measures that flaggers can take to ensure their safety and minimize the risk of accidents. For example, you should get out of the way and warn others in case a rogue vehicle enters the work area. There should be a clear Temporary Traffic Control Plan (TTCP) that defines where motorists are required to stop and switch lanes as well as provide a safe area for flagging. All construction sign holders must be visible from a specified minimum distance depending on the traffic speed. 

How Do I Become a Flagger?

Once you have decided to become a flagger, it would be important to get certified to keep you and others safe.

Choose the Right Flagger Certification Program

Flagger requirements vary from one state to another. You should take time to identify and choose the right flagger certification program. You should ensure that the program has certified instructors and is flexible to your specific needs.

Complete the Training

Most flagger certification training programs will not have prerequisites and will involve minimal commitment in terms of time. Generally, classes will take four hours a day, teaching a wide variety of procedures and techniques.

Pass the Certification Test

At the end of the program, you will need to take a test to prove you have mastered the skills and are competent in the different areas covered. If you are seeking certification through the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), you will need to score at least 80 percent to pass.

At Worksafe Traffic Control Industries, we are committed to keeping all motorists and construction sign holders safe through our quality traffic signage solutions, including temporary traffic control signs. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products and place an order.

 

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