How to Become a Crossing Guard

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Ensuring roadways are safe for crossing is an essential part of public safety. Crossing guards are trained workers that direct and lead pedestrians across busy roadways by temporarily stopping traffic flow or recognizing safe gaps where they can safely cross.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does a crossing guard do?

Crossing guards help control and guide pedestrian and vehicular traffic at a variety of intersections such as streets, railroad crossings, construction sites, and schools. They are often stationed at busy intersections and direct the movement of traffic or warn of hazards using hand signals, signs, lanterns, and flags. Some detour routes and provide information to drivers at construction sites. Others activate railroad warning signals and operate crossing gates. They also communicate the traffic and crossing rules and other valuable information to pedestrians and drivers. Crossing guards are often responsible for recording license numbers of vehicles that commit violations and report the incidences to proper authorities. They also stop vehicles that are speeding to warn them of the speed limits. School crossing guards report unsafe behavior of students to school officials.

What kind of training does a crossing guard need?

Most employers require crossing guards to have at least a high school diploma and passing a crossing guard training program. Many employers and traffic schools offer training programs for crossing guards. The programs provide classroom instruction on basic traffic laws, using traffic signs and signals, school zone signs, proper crossing procedures, and how to handle emergency situations. They also learn CPR and first aid procedures. Programs requirements vary by state and employer, but most require at least 8 hours of training. Most programs require students to pass a written examination and field training before becoming a crossing guard. Crossing guards must repeat training every year.

What are the prospects for a career as a crossing guard?

Employment of crossing guards is expected to have little or no change from 2006 to 2016 (1).

Job prospects are expected to fair especially for crossing guards with previous experience and willingness to work at a variety of locations. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace crossing guards that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do crossing guards make?

As of October 2009, the middle 50% of crossing guards earn annual salaries between $18,423 and $28,104. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $33,002 (2).

A career as a crossing guard is an excellent choice for people interested in guiding a variety of pedestrians across roadways. Crossing guards must have thorough knowledge of basic traffic rules and excellent street and traffic observance skills and be able to safely direct and guide pedestrians. They must have good judgment and be able to make quick decisions. Assertiveness, motivation, enthusiasm, and encouragement are desirable characteristics. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be able to work in stressful and other dangerous situations such as inclement weather.

Joshua T Osborne

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