What Do Railroad Conductors Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

Stanley TanLeave a Comment



daily life of a Railroad Conductor and Yardmaster
are Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters happy with their job

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



Being A Railroad Conductor: What You Really Do


In this job description guide, you will find out what do Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Railroad Conductor and Yardmaster or not.



Job summary

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.

We asked Railroad Conductors how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

48%

How meaningful is this job

39%


48% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 39% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical day

On a daily basis, Railroad Conductors Signal engineers to begin train runs, stop trains, or change speed, using telecommunications equipment or hand signals. They Receive information regarding train or rail problems from dispatchers or from electronic monitoring devices.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Railroad Conductor is to Direct and instruct workers engaged in yard activities, such as switching tracks, coupling and uncoupling cars, and routing inbound and outbound traffic.

Some may also Keep records of the contents and destination of each train car, and make sure that cars are added or removed at proper points on routes.

In a normal work day, another thing that Railroad Conductors do is they Operate controls to activate track switches and traffic signals.

In addition to that, they Direct engineers to move cars to fit planned train configurations, combining or separating cars to make up or break up trains..

A typical day for A Railroad Conductor look like this:

Signal others to coordinate vehicle movement.
Receive information or instructions for performing work assignments.
Direct passenger or freight transport activities.

We asked some Railroad Conductors a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?65% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?41% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?80% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?94% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?28% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?29% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?10% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?55% said yes



Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Railroad Conductors do, they Instruct workers to regulate air conditioning, lighting, and heating in passenger cars to ensure passengers’ comfort.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Direct passenger or freight transport activities.



Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

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


In a typical work week as A Railroad Conductor, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Railroad Conductors work in an office-style work environment?

Everyday
16.35%

Once a week
10.5%

Once a month
0%

Once a year
11.65%

Never
61.5%

Do Railroad Conductors work in a warehouse-style work environment?

Everyday
42.06%

Once a week
10.46%

Once a month
9.61%

Once a year
13.71%

Never
24.15%

Do Railroad Conductors work outdoors?

Everyday
83.7%

Once a week
5.84%

Once a month
6.73%

Once a year
3.73%

Never
0%



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.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

You 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.



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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.
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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
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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
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Transportation
Construction
Transportation Operations

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Related to Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters Job Description

Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters job description, what do Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters do, typical day for Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters, what is it like to work as a Railroad Conductor and Yardmaster, how many hours do Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters work, day to day work of a Railroad Conductor and Yardmaster

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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