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Toll Collector Job Description, Career as a Toll Collector, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: High school diploma

Salary Median: $20,264 per year

Employment Outlook: Fair

Toll collectors have to assess and collect tolls from motorists on bridges and turnpikes and in tunnels. They may also have to collect fare from passengers on ferries or accept previously purchased fare tickets. At the end of their shift, toll collectors have to balance the cash collected and create records of the tickets and money received from motorists or passengers. Toll collectors may be required to sell round-trip tickets to passengers. In places where automatic toll collection machines are used, it is the human collector’s duty to remove coin vaults from the machines when those are full and transfer the coins to a previously designated holding place. A toll collector’s job is repetitive in nature and involves collecting toll money, giving change to the motorist/passenger, and issuing receipts.

Toll collectors are also responsible for filing reports against motorists who refuse to pay the toll or who behave in an inappropriate manner. Toll collectors also may have to work closely with law enforcement officials in tracking down illegal vehicles.

In some states, there are four levels of employment for toll collectors. Level I is the basic entry level, in which toll collectors perform routine tasks mostly under the supervision of senior personnel. Level II is considered the career level, when individuals have to carry out an entire range of duties. Lead workers, or specialists, make up Level III. They are in supervisory positions and are primarily responsible for overseeing the work of those under them. Level IV includes those who play an administrative role and who are in charge of the business operations of a toll facility.

Education and Training Requirements

Toll collectors do not need any specific academic knowledge to do their job, though a high school diploma is mandatory in most states. Toll collectors should have good communication skills and the ability to count money quickly. Toll collectors receive most of their training while on the job. Those with a bachelor’s degree can expect better career opportunities in comparison to those who hold only high school diplomas.

A lot of states require candidates to meet some special requirements prior to appointment as toll collectors. For instance, New York requires candidates to have a valid driver’s license and to undergo a fingerprinting procedure. Those with criminal records are evaluated further before being given the job. In Oklahoma, toll collectors are required to have a residential telephone line so that they can be contacted during emergency situations. Some states may also conduct a written test that candidates need to pass to be considered for employment.

Apart from these requirements, it is necessary for toll collectors to be physically fit and capable of lifting weights between 60 and 100 pounds. They must also have good vision (both close and distance), the ability to distinguish between colors, and depth perception.

Getting the Job

Toll collectors who apply for the job may be employed by the federal government, state government, or local government. Information regarding job opportunities in this field is available through the United States Office of Personnel Management. Interested candidates can also look up career sites on the Internet and in classified sections of newspapers for suitable openings.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Toll collectors need substantial work experience in order to gain advancement in their field of work, and those collectors who hold a bachelor’s degree will have a slight edge over those who hold only a high school diploma. New toll collectors start at Level I and can gradually work their way up to Level IV. Toll collectors with experience of four years or more are usually promoted to a supervisory position in which their tasks involve administrative work. In such roles, they may be required to evaluate performances of subordinate tax collectors, assign duties, approve applications for leave, and initiate corrective disciplinary measures if and when required.

The rate of employment for toll collectors is not expected to have any significant increase over the present rate through 2016. A good number of retirements in the coming years will maintain the number at a steady level.

Working Conditions

Toll collectors may have to work in extreme weather conditions. In case of emergencies, they may have to push stalled vehicles out of toll lanes or clean up snow that has accumulated in the lanes. This makes the job physically quite strenuous. Tax collectors may have to work varying shifts and also for long periods of time during an emergency.

Where to Go for More Information

United States Office of Personnel Management
1900 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20415

Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20224

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
347 Madison Ave., Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10017-3739

Salary, Earnings and Benefits

As of 2009, the average annual salary of toll collectors in the United States is $20,264. However, as in other occupations, the salary of toll collectors depends on their level of experience, place of employment, and location. For instance, toll collectors on bridges in Dallas, Texas, earn around $18,530 per year, whereas those in Los Angeles, California, report a median annual salary of $23,251.

Toll collectors receive some of the perks usually offered to salaried employees, including paid leaves, medical insurance, and life insurance.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw and Public Service