Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters jobs information
pros and cons of being a Railroad Conductor and Yardmaster

Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

Other names for this job might include Agent, Car Chaser, Car Dispatcher, Car Distributor, Car Spotter, Centralized Traffic Control Operator (CTC Operator), Conductor, Conductor and Engineer, Conductor, Freight, Conductor/Brakeman


  • $56760
    Salary
  • 48%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

D



Railroad Conductors: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Railroad Conductor 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 Conductors and Yardmasters 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.


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


    Become one

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    Salary

    Average salary
    $56760 per year

    Hourly wage
    $27.29 an hour


    Railroad Conductors with little to no experience tend to make between $38450 and $45630 while the more experienced ones make over $66630 per year.

    Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
    NM$33.8$70310
    MS$30.74$63940
    KY$29.64$61650
    NY$29.56$61490
    MN$29.53$61410

    1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Railroad Conductor is to move to a higher paying state like NM. Right now, the highest paying states for Railroad Conductors are NM, MS, KY, NY and MN.

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

    3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Railroad Conductor 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 Conductors 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 Conductors what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by Certificate.

    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 Conductor successful or would they be good in this career.

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

    Speaking
    Monitoring
    Coordination
    Critical Thinking
    Active Listening

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

    Dependability
    Integrity
    Attention to Detail
    Self Control
    Independence
    = Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

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


    Pros and Cons

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

    PROS
    Suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
    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
    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
    48%

    Is this job meaningful
    39%


    Working hours
    More than 40 hours per week

    Working schedule
    Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)


    On a normal working week Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters work More than 40 hours per week.

    48% of Railroad Conductors said they were satisfied with their job and 39% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



    Is this right for me

    Best personality for this career
    The Persuaders and The Builders


    You can read more about these career personality types here.

    People who are suitable for this job tends to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

    They also 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.



    How we can help

    Start your journey to be A Railroad Conductor

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    Yes, I'm sure


    Rank: D
    Salary: $52280

    They 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.
    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: D
    Salary: $44810

    They drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.
    Rank: D
    Salary: $31770

    They verify and maintain records on incoming and outgoing shipments. Prepare items for shipment. Duties include assembling, addressing, stamping, and shipping merchandise or material; receiving, unpacking, verifying and recording incoming merchandise or material; and arranging for the transportation of products.
    Rank: D
    Salary: $53690

    They monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. Watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineer in railroad yard.






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    Career type

    Transportation
    Green Increased Demand
    Transportation
    Construction
    Transportation Operations

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    Learn more about Railroad Conductors

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

    Study To Be A Railroad Conductor


    Related to Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters Career Information

    Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters job description, Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters salary, Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters information, what is the job of a Railroad Conductor and Yardmaster like, pros and cons about Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters, colleges and universities for Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters, is Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters 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 Conductors and Yardmasters
    Written by: Stanley Tan
    Railroad Conductors 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.
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