What Are the Requirements to be a Snowplow Driver in Colorado?
Here's a big shout out to the snowplow drivers across the state of Colorado. Thank you for the work you do. With that in mind, what does it take to become a snowplow driver in Colorado?
Unless my memory has gone completely wonky, I would swear I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt while mowing my lawn and blowing out sprinkler lines last Saturday (October 24). Sunday morning, October 25, was spent painting my carport. At 7 p.m. on Sunday, I was busy shoveling snow out of my driveway for the third time that evening.
Welcome to the great state of Colorado. Things change in an instant. While the National Weather Service very accurately warned us all of the upcoming snow on Sunday, it's safe to say hardly any of us were expecting six-plus inches of heavy snow.
Thankfully, sometime late Sunday evening, snowplows made their way through my neighborhood. I live in the hills south of town, so driving in snow isn't exactly a ton of fun. Fortunately for everyone in the neighborhood, plows removed the majority of the snow long before any of us had to head to work.
When it comes to those behind the wheel of a snowplow, what qualifications do they possess? To my mind, that would be a scary job. A person would have to be very skilled in order to work their way through fresh snow at these elevations.
It just so happens CDOT is hiring snowplow drivers right now in communities across the state of Colorado. According to CDOT's official webpage, qualifications include:
- Class A or B commercial driver's license (CDL) for Colorado
- heavy equipment operator
- heavy labor experience
- May be required to pass a controlled substance test (i.e. drug test), and DOT physical through our medical provider.
- Must be willing to respond to emergencies outside regular work hours and work overtime including weekends and holidays.
- May be required to live within thirty (30) minutes’ driving time, under normal weather conditions, of where the work station and/or equipment is located.
What if a person wants to be a plow driver, but doesn't have a CDL? Right now in the Denver metro area, CDOT offers several temporary trainee positions that do not require a CDL. These positions will "give motivated individuals a foot in the door with CDOT through hands-on, real-world experience in road maintenance. In addition to offering on-the-job training." CDOT may help these individuals obtain their CDL certification.
If you look at governmentjobs.com for the state of Colorado, you'll see dozens of jobs posted for Temporary Highway Maintenance Worker. Each of these listings is accompanied by a geographic location, i.e. Telluride, Winter Park, Walden, etc.
Do snowplow drivers get rich? Not really. These jobs, all of which are categorized as "seasonal," pay at the rate of $23 per hour.
Here's a big shout out to you, Colorado snowplow driver. Plowing the 5th Street Bridge in Grand Junction seems dangerous enough. Plowing I-70 over the passes? Forget it. A person could fly the Space Shuttle easier than plowing those passes. Thanks again for the incredible work.