Railroad Conductors

Railroad conductors supervise trains and train crews on passenger trains, on freight trains, or in the rail yards. They are responsible for keeping track of the train's operating instructions and of its makeup and cargo. There are approximately 43,100 railroad conductors and yardmasters employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Road Conductors, Yard Conductors, Yardmasters
Duties Supervise trains and train crews on passenger trains, on freight trains, or in rail yards
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Several years' experience in entry-level positions (such as messenger or braker) required
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Outgoing
  • Realistic
  • Leadership
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Organizational
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Some conductor jobs require applicants to be at least 21 years old; conductors must be able to lift at least 80 pounds and pass drug tests
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Decline
Career Ladder
  • Foreman or Crew Management Center Dispatcher
  • Railroad Conductor
  • Substitute Conductor
  • Messenger or Braker

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