Thrill and panic: The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge is hiring

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If your dream job is letting ships pass beneath the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, get your resume together quickly.

The City of Duluth has one single opening to be a full-time lift bridge operator at the iconic spot. It pays $42,444 to $49,680 a year, with benefits.

The job holder will be responsible for ensuring "safe passage of ships, pedestrians, and motorists by operating and maintaining lift bridges, and related equipment."

You'll have to apply by 4:30 p.m. Friday though it you're interested (and that is actually extended from an original deadline of Dec. 4.)

Applications can be submitted to the Human Resources Office in person, by mail, or as an email attachment to

Here's the full job description.

What's the job like?

Northland's NewsCenter describes it as "long periods of idleness followed by brief periods of panic."

But for a firsthand account, check out this post in Lake Superior Magazine by Ryan Beamer, who worked on the lift bridge for eight years.

As he wrote, "let’s be honest, it is a cool job. But it can be stressful work."

And it's often because of the people. Beamer said people trying to hang on to the bridge as it goes up, or racing in their cars to sneak on before it lifts up, are tense, scary moments.

"Just as with Lake Superior, if you do not give the bridge respect, bad things can happen," he said.

Still, the view, the excitement on kids' faces as they watch it, and the experience of sitting in the pilothouse during a storm make it an exciting career.

And it could be yours.

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