Railroad Conductor Salary
|Salary||$41,414 - $99,969|
|Total Pay (||$34,509 - $96,533|
|Hourly Rate||$14.93 - $34.19|
|Overtime||$23.27 - $50.48|
|Total Pay (||$34,509 - $96,533|
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
Popular Employer Salaries for Railroad Conductor
Known for taking on a considerable number of Railroad Conductors, Norfolk Southern Corporation, BNSF Railway Company, Union Pacific Railroad, CSX Corp, and Genesee and Wyoming Inc. are leading firms in the industry. CSX Corp offers the largest salaries in town — $75K on average.
Pay by Experience Level for Railroad Conductor
Pay by Experience for a Railroad Conductor has a positive trend. An entry-level Railroad Conductor with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $49,000 based on 118 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Railroad Conductor with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $60,000 based on 65 salaries. An experienced Railroad Conductor which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $71,000 based on 57 salaries. A Railroad Conductor with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $86,000 based on 13 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
Railroad Conductors working in Chicago earn a bit more than the national average, but overall, earnings in this area are not heavily influenced by geographic location. With compensation 18 percent below the national average, Houston is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Atlanta (18 percent lower) and Pittsburgh (9 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Railroad Conductor
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