The Illinois Department of Transportation is issuing its annual call for snowplow drivers. Through the department’s annual “snowbird” program, temporary snowplow drivers are hired every year on a full-time and on-call basis. IDOT plows more than 45,000 lane miles statewide during the winter season.
IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says it’s a way to get a foot in the door for full-time employment: “It’s an opportunity to make some money for some people wanting extra income. It could be from October through April that you’re on call and different things. Sometimes this temporary work has led to full-time employment.”
“The calendar says September, but snow-and-ice season will be upon us before we know it, as well as a great opportunity to help serve the public,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “The snowbird program provides avital service, but also opens the door to earn some extra income and possibly a lifelong career with IDOT.”
Snowbirds are required to promptly respond to emerging weather situations for snow-and-ice removal and stay prepared to work in emergency conditions at any time, including nights, weekends and holidays.
Wappel says that drivers have to possess a few credentials before they apply: “They need to have a Commercial Driver’s License, a criminal background check, a pre-employment physical and vision testing. Those are required. We also encourage veterans to apply.” Drug and alcohol screenings are also required.
Applicants will be selected based on availability, job-related experience and qualifications. For additional information, including on positions and the application process in specific districts, details on pay and the potential for benefits, please click on the link here.
A short animation video on the snowbird program is available on IDOT’s YouTube channel.