A report on the results of the 2017 Wisconsin Highway Maintenance Workforce Survey has been published.

In 2017, the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center, as part of the MTWC Highway Maintenance Engineering Career Pathways Initiative,  developed a survey on highway maintenance in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Highway Maintenance Workforce Survey met several goals. The survey was designed to:

  • Learn about the highway maintenance workforce in Wisconsin
  • Get the background information needed to develop career pathways
  • Assess opportunities to establish an apprenticeship program

The survey was a vehicle to engage highway maintenance professionals throughout the state, to understand the demand for workers, and to generate employment data. The research teams’ goals were to “fill in the gaps” on several fronts, determining the demand for highway maintenance workers, identifying curriculum being used to train workers, and itemizing any credentials that workers possess.

The survey results provide background material for stakeholders, members of the workforce, and educational partners working to develop career pathways in this area.

While the primary target audience for the survey was the county commissioners, MTWC also sent the survey to the highway maintenance engineers at WisDOT and its five regional offices; the public works directors or city engineers (whichever were appropriate) of each city, village, and town having over 2,000 in population; and five private contractors that perform highway maintenance within the state. In total, a 541 people were invited to take the survey.


Bonnie Wohlberg in Human Resources at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Jim Hessling, President of the APWA Wisconsin Chapter, provided significant guidance with survey content. The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) Human Resources Director provided salary survey guidelines and definitions of the skills levels, so results can be checked against the AASHTO’s Salary Survey findings. The MTWC acknowledges the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Wisconsin County Highway Association, the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, as well as the MTWC Highway Maintenance Engineering Discipline Working Group for their participation in reviewing and commenting on the survey. Kerri Phillips of MTWC provided assistance on stakeholder database development, survey distribution, and editing of this report.