Many little boys and girls dream of growing up and working on the railroad. Though many think of conductors, railroad occupations also include several positions that ensure that the switches move at the right time, keep the trains running in top condition and keep the cars of passenger trains clean. Workers on trains often spend long hours and days or weeks away from home, and those working in other areas need to spend hours in a seated position or hours walking along the tracks.
Railroad Occupations Job Education Requirements
The conductors and engineers responsible for operating the train and keeping the trains running on schedule need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Engineers and those working with the trains or making repairs to those trains may need a certificate or a degree in a mechanical or automotive field. Most conductors spend a minimum of one month up to three months training on the job with more experienced workers before working independently. The Federal Railroad Administration offers certification for conductors. After gaining some experience and going through training, they can take two examinations and demonstrate the proficiency they have.
Railroad Occupations Job Market
Statistics show that this job market will decrease by a rate of 3 percent, which means the industry will lose approximately 4,000 jobs by 2022. The experience that railroad workers gain on the job can assist them in positions that include Foreman jobs and Construction Equipment Repair jobs.
Railroad Occupations Job Salary Information
Railroad conductors earn a median annual salary of $65,000, but the lowest 10 percent earn a median annual salary of $45,000. The top 10 percent of conductors earn $87,000 a year. Some railroad workers can earn $100,000 or more each year. Other railroad jobs come with an hourly salary of $20 to $30.