Railroad Conductor

Keep trains running on time and traveling in the right direction.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $76,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Railroad Conductors do?

As a Railroad Conductor, you work on trains, doing a variety of tasks. You’re basically a professional organizer of the operations and activities in both passenger and freight trains. You work directly with Train Operators, passengers, and other employees of the railway.

On a daily basis, the Railroad Conductor is required to complete an assortment of duties in a timely manner. This is because above all else, you have to keep a perfect schedule, ensuring that trains come and go in proper order and on time. And while making sure the trains are where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there, the Railroad Conductor also does the same for the passengers, staff, and cargo.

You’re in charge of the loading and unloading of cargo, checking that all items are accounted for and that the weight distribution is correct. You also keep careful records of all the cargo and schedules. And on top of this, you oversee the addition and/or subtraction of train cars, and on occasion, you make public announcements about departures and arrivals.

And while you stay behind on the platform, you’re the one who organizes and assigns tasks to staff members who go on the train rides. You also sign off on the safety of the train cars, making sure they’ve been checked and are all in perfect working order. Once the route is confirmed and the train is on its way, you remain in contact with traffic control centers to discuss timing, delays, stops, locations of other trains, and rail obstructions.

Should I be a Railroad Conductor?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.

  • Also known as: Road Conductor, Train Conductor

    How to become a Railroad Conductor

    Most Railroad Conductors have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9caaaa&chl=no+college+%2896%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,96,96
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