Railroad Conductor Salary
Job Description for Railroad Conductor
While some who recall the "golden era of train travel" believe that a train conductor simply walks the aisles and punches tickets, the reality is that this job has morphed considerably over time. Today’s train conductors do hard, heavy work in all weather conditions and at all hours of the day and night. Essentially, they are responsible for making sure that trains operate as efficiently as possible, no matter what could go wrong.Read More...
Most train conductors start out as conductor trainees who work on-call hours and have no predictable schedule. While they are generally required to hold a high school diploma or GED, they learn the vast majority of their work through training provided by their employer. The ability to lift 80 pounds is an absolute requirement, for example, since this is the weight of the often-replaced knuckles which connect train cars to one another.
Of course, railroad conductors are required to travel extensively. Training is generally carried out in one location, while the conductor may be based in another location. Despite this, a conductor may have to travel extensively to go where the company needs him. Those in this position are generally not guaranteed a minimum number of hours, though they are compensated at a very high rate per-hour. Once fully-fledged, they can get as much as five weeks of paid vacation per year.
A somewhat unique requirement of this and other railroad jobs is to join the railroad labor union, and they are expected to remain members for as long as they're employed in the industry.
Railroad Conductor Tasks
- Coordinate movement of trains and rail cars.
- Maintain accurate, clear documentation of train movement.
- Communicate train and rail movement or switches with crew.
- Operate track switches, inspect, couple and un-couple rail cars.
Railroad Conductor Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Railroad Conductor
Dominating the field, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway Company, CSX Corp, and Genesee and Wyoming Inc. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Railroad Conductors. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Union Pacific Railroad offers the most; Railroad Conductors earn $75K on average there.
Pay by Experience Level for Railroad Conductor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Railroad Conductors. Railroad Conductors in the early stages of their careers take home approximately $51K on average. The average for people in the five-to-10 year group is only a little larger at $59K. Railroad Conductors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $68K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $81K on average.