Rail Signal and Communications Technician

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Mechanic/Technician
Posted on November 8, 2022
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Metro Transit’s Rail Division has exciting opportunities for a Signal and Communications Technician!

This position will perform maintenance on railway signal and communications equipment such as motorized switch machines, vital relays, microprocessor controlled interlockings, programmable logic controllers, fiber optic links, failsafe railroad crossing equipment, stand-alone computers and power supplies. This recruitment will be used to fill immediate vacancies and may be used to establish an eligibility pool for future career service and any fully benefited Term-Limited Temporary (TLT) or Special Duty Assignments (SDA) vacancies if they occur over the next twelve months. 

Per the union contract the current hourly rates are: 

  • Day shift: $32.41-$46.30
  • 2nd-Shift: $34.03-$48.62
  • 3rd Shift: $34.84-$49.77
Safety Sensitive Position 
This position is considered safety sensitive.  Applicants for these positions are required to undergo drug testing prior to employment and subsequent to commencement of employment, will be subject to random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return to duty, and follow-up drug and alcohol testing in compliance with Federal DOT alcohol and controlled substance testing program protocols.
Link Light Rail

Metro Transit's Rail Division is responsible for operating and maintaining Link Light Rail service on a 24.7-mile route from the Angle Lake Station south of Sea-Tac Airport to the Northgate Station. Plans and/or construction are underway extending the system to the north, east, south, and west. Expansion over the next five years alone will include the addition of more than 20 stations and 40 miles of light rail track.  The light rail line is a critical part of the region's transportation network and carries more than 79,000 weekday daily riders.

Job Duties

Applying equity and social justice principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. In this role you will apply equity and social justice principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work. You will:

  • Conduct fault diagnosis; inspect, test, modify, maintain and repair railway signal and communications equipment 
  • Inspect, repair and maintain electrical, electronic, mechanical, and hydraulic equipment including grade crossing mechanisms, switch machines, multiplexers, microprocessor controlled interlockings, vital relays, power supplies, battery systems, audio systems, and other complex machinery and equipment 
  • Operate common and specialized tools and equipment such as mechanical lift devices, hand tools, and electronic measurement devices 
  • Access aerial support structures and poles to perform inspections, maintenance and repair tasks 
  • Determine work priorities for emergency maintenance tasks in the absence of on-site supervision; respond to emergency calls as necessary 
  • Operate switch machines by hand and by Local Control Panels under revenue and non-revenue conditions 
  • Plan, schedule, communicate and coordinate activities and work with other trades and sections; assist other trades as necessary 
  • Operate assigned vehicles including Hi-Rail and Aerial Lift equipment 
  • Perform snow and ice removal 
  • Flag trackway to provide safe rail work zones; set up work zone traffic control areas 
  • Record and document maintenance and diagnostic data 
  • Other duties as assigned

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Minimum Qualifications
Two years performing Journey level work in railway signaling and communications OR any equivalent combination of experience and education which provides the applicant with the needed skills, knowledge and ability required to perform the work.

Additional qualifications include:

  • Journey level knowledge of the fundamentals of railway signaling and communications 
  • Knowledge in analyzing and evaluating malfunctions in electrical and electronic equipment and determining repair requirements; skill in performing electronic fabrication and assembly tasks, such as soldering and wire harnessing; skill in problem solving, analyzing, diagnosing and evaluating equipment problems 
  • Knowledge of and skill in industrial safety techniques, including safety techniques while working at railway crossings with train and automobile traffic 
  • Knowledge of and skill in maintaining and troubleshooting mechanical and hydraulic equipment
  • Willingness and ability to apply King County's core values around inclusion, equity and social justice as a team member and representative of King County to the public 
  • Skill in the application of customer service techniques and principles when dealing with customers in a tactful and diplomatic manner Skill in oral and written communications, including reading, writing and following instructions 
  • Skill in preparing written reports, inspection forms for documenting defects and repairs of work orders in designated computer programs; skill in preparing time and material cost estimates; keep accurate records 
  • Skill in developing and implementing preventive maintenance and safety inspection procedures
  • Skill in working under established deadlines and time frames Skill in establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with a diverse group of individuals
Necessary Special Requirements
  • Ability to obtain boom truck, Hi-Rail, forklift, and confined space certification (we train) 
  • Washington State driver's license with an acceptable driving record 
  • Class B CDL with airbrake endorsement or ability to obtain one (we train)

Supplemental Information

Working Environment 
Work indoors and outdoors and in inclement weather. Work in high places from mechanical lifts and structures and in high voltage environment to perform inspections. Position requires physical skill and effort to operate tools, equipment, vehicles and supplies and may require stooping or bending motions when inspecting work.

Work Schedule
This work unit supports a 24/7/365 operation. This position is overtime eligible and shifts may include day, swing, nights and weekends. The work week and scheduled hours may vary. This position has on-call responsibilities and assigned workers must respond to emergency situations as needed. You must be willing and available to work all of the above.

Application Process 
Your completed application must show all jobs in the last 10 years if you have 10 years of employment. Including all relevant jobs is recommended and must be included if referred to in Supplemental Questions. Include any gaps in employment with explanations for the gap.

Selection Process 
Applications will be screened for completeness and qualifications. The most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in a panel interview process. Employment offers will be finalized after candidates have successfully completed a physical examination, drug screens and a drug and alcohol background check as needed. Reference checks and reviews of driving records will also be conducted prior to any final offer of employment.

Union Membership 
This position is represented by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 587.  

Class Code

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play. 

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement 
King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.

As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to: submit proof of vaccination, or have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.

For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:
Janay Brim
Human Resource Talent Advisor


King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Are you applying to this position as an eligible Current or Previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant AND Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff AND Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff
For this position you need to have Two years performing Journey level work in railway signaling and communications OR any equivalent combination of experience and education which provides the applicant with the needed skills, knowledge and ability required to perform the work. Please describe in detail how you meet this requirement.
For the previous question which are you noting?
  • I have two years of experience in performing Journey level work in railway signaling and communications
  • I have an equivalent combination of experience and education which provides the needed skills, knowledge and ability required to perform the work.
  • Other
Please summarize where you obtained the journey level work in Railway signaling and communications or OR any equivalent combination of experience and education which provides the needed skills, knowledge and ability required to perform the work.
Do you have any of the following certifications? (Check all that apply)
  • Forklift certification
  • Confined spaces certification
  • Boom truck certification
  • Hi-Rail certification
  • I do not have any certifications
I understand that this position supports a 24 hour/7 days per week/365 days per year operation. I am willing to work any shift, weekends, and any combination of sequential days off, and am willing to take on-call responsibilities as needed and respond to emergency situations as needed.
  • Yes
  • No
Do you currently possess a valid Driver's License? Please indicate if you ALSO hold a Class A or Class B CDL license, and any endorsements. (Select all that apply)
  • Valid Driver's license
  • Class A CDL/Permit
  • Class B CDL/Permit
  • Air Brake Endorsement
  • Passenger Endorsement
  • I do not have a driver's license
Have you had a license in another state besides Washington in the last 5 years?
  • Yes
  • No
If you indicated above that you have had a license in a state other than Washington in the last five years, list the state(s) and the years you had the license(s). (If none, please answer "N/A")
In the last five (5) years, has your driver's license been revoked or suspended?
  • Moving violation
  • Unpaid Moving Ticket(s)
  • Unpaid Parking Ticket(s)
  • Child Support Enforcement
  • I have not had my license suspended
If your license has been suspended in the last five years, please indicate how many times it has been suspended, regardless of reason.
  • One time
  • More than once
  • My license has not been suspended
Do you have any of the following violations on your driving record in the last five years? Select all that apply. (11)
  • Reckless or negligent driving
  • DWI/DUI - driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Hit and run incident
  • Vehicular homicide or vehicular assault
  • Open container violation
  • More than one at-fault accident
  • None of the above
How many traffic code (moving) violations have you had in the last 5 years? (12)
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5 or more
  • no code violations
How many at fault accidents have you had in the last 5 years? (14)
  • No accidents
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5 or more
List all accidents you have had in the last five years in which you were at fault, including employment-related accidents. Include the month and year of the accident, a brief description, the approximate dollar damage, whether or not there were injuries as a result of the accident, and if you were given a traffic citation. Failure to answer this question completely may result in your application not being considered further. If no at-fault accidents, please answer "N/A". (15)

Required Question