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How do I Become a Construction Flagger?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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To become a construction flagger, it is necessary to complete a training course and pass an examination that leads to flagger certification. The requirements to become a certified flagger vary, depending on the region and it is advisable to look up regional requirements before signing up for a class to confirm that the class will meet the need. Once certified, flaggers also need to periodically renew their certifications in order to stay current. Additional training in occupational health and safety can make a construction flagger more employable.

Construction flaggers coordinate and control traffic around construction sites. This requires the ability to signal traffic, communicate with other flaggers to manage traffic, and to set signs, cones, and other devices used to alert people to the fact that construction is occurring and they need to slow down and wait for directions. Construction flaggers use hand signs, road signs, and radios to interact with each other and with traffic. A construction flagger course will teach people about the equipment used and how to use it safely.

There are no prerequisites to attend a course and people do not need construction experience to get construction flagger jobs. Most courses last one day or less. The course will cover flagging itself along with occupational safety for construction workers, including safety procedures, safety equipment, and how to respond to emergencies. Any rules and regulations that pertain to flagging work will also be discussed in the class to make sure that students are familiar with them. At the conclusion of the test, students must pass a written exam.

With certification in hand, a prospective construction flagger can start applying for jobs. Construction companies and government agencies usually have a steady demand for flaggers. Pay generally remains low because the work is relatively unskilled. With experience, someone can become the head of a flagging crew and have more seniority. People who start out as flaggers may go on to work in other capacities on construction crews or to work in fields like occupational health and safety.

Some companies will hire people who are not certified. The company will provide or pay for training so that their new hires can work safely in the field. Other benefits usually provided by companies include access to work gear including safety uniforms with bright colors, reflective badges, and other design features that are designed to make flaggers highly visible while they are at work.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PracticalAdultInsights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon960135 — On Jul 08, 2014

I live in Orillia. Where do I get flagger certification? I have no experience.

just moved into the area and am finding no work in my field, which is security.

By B707 — On Jul 18, 2011

Even though the job of construction flagger is an unskilled job, I think that these men and women should be paid more. This is a dangerous job - quite a few are either killed or badly injured by cars. They have to be out in the weather conditions all day. I don't know what kind of benefits, if any, they receive.

I'm surprised that their training course to earn their certificate is only one day long. That doesn't seem like enough time to learn the procedures well enough.

They probably have some confrontations with motorists who get belligerent and don't want to wait, so they take off to drive past the construction site. It's not an easy job.

By golf07 — On Jul 18, 2011

When I was younger I remember thinking that road construction flagger jobs would be an easy job to have. Even though it looked a little bit boring, all you had to do was stand there and get some sunshine and get paid for it.

Now I realize there is much more to it than that. Even though it may not be a difficult job, you are responsible for many lives while you are out there on the job.

A flagger plays a key role in making sure the traffic around the entire job site flows smoothly and offers protection for everyone around the construction site.

By Mykol — On Jul 17, 2011

My husband works for a construction company and they will hire people who are not certified, but will pay to have them take the required flagger training.

This training does not take very long to complete and is the first step that is required for them when beginning their job.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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