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Employment Opportunities

Canal Structure Operator – SG-9

Appointment Type: Seasonal

Negotiation Unit: CSEA

Hourly Salary: $16.59 per hour

Location: Throughout New York State, including Fort Edward, Waterford, Fonda, Utica, Lysander/Syracuse, Lyons, Lockport, and Pittsford.

Minimum Qualifications:  

Six months of experience in the operation and assembly or the operation and maintenance of mechanical, electrical, automotive, hydraulic, or diesel machinery OR Six months of experience working on a canal, of which 50% of your duties must have included working at a canal lock and/or lift bridge OR a certificate of completion from a BOCES or a post-high school program in electrical maintenance; electrical construction; or mechanical, hydraulic, automotive, or diesel repair or technology OR Six college semester credit hours in electrical construction; electrical maintenance; or in hydraulic, mechanical, automotive, or diesel repair or technology OR Possession of a New York State electrician’s license and current registration.

License & Certification Requirement: Class D License


The Canal Corporation (Canals) works in partnership with local, state, and federal entities to implement canal projects that meet the goals and objectives of the NYS Canal Recreationway Plan and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Plan. The projects are geared towards increasing public access and use of the Canal System, adding new and improved trail linkages and enhancing tourism and economic revitalization opportunities along the 524 miles comprising the Canal system. The New York State Canal System, includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals, linking the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. Under the supervision of the Chief Lock Operator, the Canal Structure Operator will assist in the operation and maintenance of canal equipment and structures and assist in maintaining grounds and facilities at canal sites. In addition, Canal Structure Operators will perform a variety of assignments including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Observes or is notified of approaching float, energizes control panels to either fill or empty the lock chamber, and when water level is equalized, energizes control panel by manipulating one or a series of switches and levers to open lock entry gates and turns on traffic control light to signal vessel to enter lock chamber.
  • Observes passage of vessel into lock chamber, advises crew of proper mooring procedure, and logs name or registry number of vessel, time of passage and any unusual occurrence.
  • Closes lock gate and turns on traffic light to stop any other approaching vessels.
  • Energizes control panel to either fill or empty the lock, keeping vessel under observation in the event of a sudden emergency which might require stopping or reversing the water level equalization process.
  • Observes the water level and when equalized on both sides of lock gates, opens lock gate and when vessel has exited, closes exit lock gates and valves and repeats procedure for next vessel awaiting passage.
  • Notifies the supervisor giving the nature and extent of the problem, in the event of a failure or breakdown of the equipment.
    Interested candidates who meet the minimum qualifications should send a cover letter and resume to Please include Canal Structure Operators in the subject line of your email to ensure receipt of your application.

    phone: 518.449.6003


    The New York State Canal Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.

    New York State Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination based on age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, marital status, gender identity, prior arrests, prior conviction records, predisposing genetic characteristics or domestic violence victim status.

    The New York State Canal Corporation provide reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please email

    Pursuant to Executive Order 161, no State entity, as defined by the Executive Order, is permitted to ask, or mandate, in any form, that an applicant for employment provide his or her current compensation history, until such time as the applicant is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation. If such information has been requested from the candidate before such time, please contact the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations at (518) 474-6988 or via email at