what degree do you need to become a Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operator
majors for Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators

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
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
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Be A Railroad Operator: What You Really Need

In this requirements guide for Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators, you will find out what do you need to become a Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operator and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operator.

Degree required

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

High School Diploma

No degree


Some college courses

Associates degree

Generally, employers are looking for Railroad Operators who have a High School Diploma. They also prefer someone who is good in Active Listening and Reading Comprehension.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Railroad Operator or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Railroad Operators what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Railroad and Railway Transportation

Some rail companies require a high school diploma or equivalent, especially for locomotive engineers and conductors. Other positions may not have any formal education requirements.


schools for Railroad Operators

Interested in becoming A Railroad Operator? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?
Click to start becoming a Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operator

How long does it take


You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Railroad Operator.

For example: A bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

To become A Railroad Operator, you will need anywhere from a few months to 1 year of working in this field.

How long does it take
2 to 4 1/2 years

Work experience
2 to 4 years
No experience

2 to 4 years

6 months to 1 year

3 to 6 months

1 to 2 years

Job training
3 to 6 months
3 to 6 months

1 to 3 months

6 months to 1 year

1 to 2 years

2 to 4 years

Most Railroad Operators have 2 to 4 years work experience and 3 to 6 months job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Not required

No license or certification required for Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators

Skills required

We asked other Railroad Operators if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
3.Monitoring what does this mean
4.Operation Monitoring what does this mean
5.Critical Thinking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Railroad Operators have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Dependability and Attention to Detail.

2.Attention to Detail
3.Self Control
4.Stress Tolerance

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Railroad Operators you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Transportation what does this mean
2.Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
3.Public Safety and Security what does this mean
4.Mechanical what does this mean
5.English Language what does this mean

As A Railroad Operator, you may also be required to know how to use certain Data base user interface and query software, Expert system software and Route navigation software tools.

Data entry software (Data base user interface and query software)
Electronic train management systems ETMS (Expert system software)
Route mapping software (Route navigation software)
Time tracking software (Time accounting software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

How we can help

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Career type

Transportation Transportation Operations

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Related to Railroad Brake, Signal and Switch Operators Requirements

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Additional resources

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