Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators jobs information
pros and cons of being a Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operator

Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators

Other names for this job might include Air Brake Operator, Air Hose Coupler, Brake Holder, Brake Rider, Brakeman, Car Coupler, Car Hopper, Car Rider, Car Runner, Car Shifter


  • $53990
    Salary
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

D



Railroad Operators: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Railroad Operator is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.


    Read more about what does A Railroad Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


    Become one

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    Salary

    Average salary
    $53990 per year

    Hourly wage
    $25.96 an hour


    Railroad Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $38230 and $44530 while the more experienced ones make over $62640 per year.

    Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
    NY$33.73$70160
    MA$30.6$63650
    GA$29.36$61060
    MN$28.91$60130
    WI$28.05$58340

    1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Railroad Operator is to move to a higher paying state like NY. Right now, the highest paying states for Railroad Operators are NY, MA, GA, MN and WI.

    However a higher pay at NY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at NY might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

    3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Railroad Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

    Find out how much do successful Railroad Operators make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


    Requirements

    Recommended degree level
    High School Diploma (or GED)

    We asked other Railroad Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by No degree.

    Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

    Railroad and Railway Transportation

    Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Railroad Operator successful or would they be good in this career.

    Well, we found that most successful Railroad Operators have these 5 skillsets.

    Active Listening
    Reading Comprehension
    Monitoring
    Operation Monitoring
    Critical Thinking

    In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Railroad Operators is they are good at Dependability. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

    Dependability
    Attention to Detail
    Self Control
    Stress Tolerance
    Cooperation
    = Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

    Read more about what it really takes to become A Railroad Operator and the degree, training and education you need


    Pros and Cons

    Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Railroad Operator as your career.

    PROS
    Suitable for people who likes practical and handson work
    Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
    This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
    It is easy to get into this career. Some previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
    CONS
    Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
    Salary is below average
    Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)


    There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

    A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



    What is the job like

    Job satisfaction
    61%

    Is this job meaningful
    47%


    Working hours
    More than 40 hours per week

    Working schedule
    Regular (Set schedule and routine)


    On a normal working week Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators work More than 40 hours per week.

    61% of Railroad Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



    Is this right for me

    Best personality for this career
    The Builders and The Organizers


    You can read more about these career personality types here.

    People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.



    How we can help

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    Rank: D
    Salary: $55820

    They coordinate activities of switch-engine crew within railroad yard, industrial plant, or similar location. Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight trains. Yardmasters review train schedules and switching orders and coordinate activities of workers engaged in railroad traffic operations, such as the makeup or breakup of trains and yard switching.
    Rank: D
    Salary: $44810

    They drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.
    Rank: C
    Salary: $57000

    They drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.
    Rank: C+
    Salary: $51540

    They operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells or to remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells. May also perform similar services in mining exploration operations. Includes fishing-tool technicians.
    Rank: C
    Salary: $50740

    They lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.






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    Career type

    Transportation
    Transportation Operations

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    Learn more about Railroad Operators

    Summary (You are here)
    Job Description
    Salary
    Requirements
    Is This Right For Me

    Study To Be A Railroad Operator


    Related to Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators Career Information

    Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators job description, Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators salary, Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators information, what is the job of a Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operator like, pros and cons about Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators, colleges and universities for Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators, is Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators the right career for me, Easy careers to get into, careers in Transportation

    Additional resources

    http://www.bls.gov/OOH/transportation-and-material-moving/railroad-occupations.htm
    http://www.amtrak.com/
    https://www.aar.org/

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    Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators
    Written by: Stanley Tan
    Railroad Operators operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.
    3 / 5 stars

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