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How much do Train Conductors make?

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 How much do Train Conductors make?

The average train conductor earns a salary of $75,373.

The average salary for a train conductor is $75,373. The median salary is $73,000. Those in the upper 10 percent can make over $86,000 per year and those in the lower 10 percent can earn less than $65,000 per year. Salary and job outlook will depend on where you live and work, so make sure to do your research before applying for a job as a conductor.

There’s still room for growth in the train-conducting field.

The train-conducting field is booming, so you can expect to see plenty of opportunities for advancement. Because train conductors are always in demand, you should have no problem stepping up through the ranks of your organization. In addition, if you ever decide to switch companies, it’s a good bet that you’ll be able to find a similar position elsewhere with few problems.

While the train-conducting field is wide open now, it’s expected to become even more popular in the future. As such and given that trains are still needed for travel and shipping purposes all around the world, it’s safe to say that this career path has plenty of room for growth. Indeed, it could help pave the way toward other leadership tracks in transportation as well.

 

How to become a Train Conductor

Consider your background.

When a train conductor, you’re in charge of being in charge. You’re not just a member of the team, but the friend and confidant to each and every passenger. They look to you for information—and so do your colleagues. But it’s up to you to decide which information is going around, and when it should be shared. Your passengers don’t need to know that there’s a swarm of bees on the tracks outside Fresno, and knowing this doesn’t mean you have to cancel their journey. It does mean that if any passengers are allergic, you’ll probably want to get them some extra snacks before they start breaking out in hives.

Being able to communicate effectively with your supervisor is an important skill when working on a train crew or leading one as a conductor, but so is the ability to read situations without an instruction manual. When it comes down to it, being good at your job may simply mean being good with people—which can be both a blessing and a curse depending on how much energy you have left at the end of the day!

Earn your diploma.

The first step to becoming a train conductor is earning your high school diploma or GED. If you’re in high school, this may seem far away, but it will be here before you know it!

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To pursue a career as a train conductor, you can also consider enrolling in a community college that offers training programs. Some railroads even offer their own training programs. They may also offer apprenticeships, which allow you to get some hands-on experience as an employee of the railroad and learn on the job about becoming a train conductor.

You could also go directly to the railroad where you want to work and apply for an on-the-job training program. This means that while working at the railroad, you’ll receive training from experienced conductors so that one day you can become one yourself.

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Pass a drug test.

Passing a drug test is one of the first requirements to becoming a train conductor. This test must be passed before you can even apply for the job, so it’s important to know how strict the protocol is.

First, make sure you haven’t used any illegal substances in at least a year before taking the drug test. The last thing you want to do is waste your time and money on an application and hiring process if there is no chance of being accepted. Be honest with yourself when assessing this requirement, as some substances like marijuana can stay in your system for more than 30 days (up to 90 according to some estimates).

Also keep in mind that prescription medications may be considered illegal by railroads. If you are currently on prescriptions and are not sure whether they will show up on a drug test, look up whether they are classified as controlled substances with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Become familiar with new safety practices.

As a train conductor, you’ll be responsible for ensuring the safety of all passengers aboard your train. Safety regulations will vary depending on the company and/or state in which you work, but you can expect to always wear a hard hat and safety vest when on duty. You might also be required to wear steel toe boots. It’s important that you adhere to these regulations at all times, as they’re designed to ensure your well-being as well as that of your passengers.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility, from management down to the newest employee. If you see something that could pose a potential danger or risk, report it immediately. And don’t forget: follow all safety instructions from your superiors without fail—you never know when disregarding an instruction could result in an accident or injury!

Get licensed.

Once you have a job, you’ll need to get licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). You’ll need to obtain a license from the FRA for each type of train or engine on which you will be working. The process can be complicated and time consuming, but it’s important that you complete it properly.

You begin the licensing process by filing an application with your company. The company will then file an application with the FRA on your behalf; this is called “sponsoring” the application. As part of this process, they may require that you submit a copy of your work history; if so, ask them what information they need, and give it to them in writing along with a completed Application for Employment History Record form (FRA Form 6180-21a). You can find more information about the licensing process at https://www.fra.dot….

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It’s not hard to become a train conductor but it does take some preparation!

It’s not hard to become a train conductor. In fact, you don’t even need a college degree! But it’s not as simple as just deciding to do it one day and then beginning the next. There are some things you need to know before you start your training.

For starters, being a train conductor is an excellent career choice. The pay is good, the benefits are good, there are opportunities for advancement in other positions within the company if you like, and there aren’t many downsides (though the hours can be long sometimes). Something to keep in mind is that emergencies happen; you’ll have less time than drivers and pilots to react when they do occur. However, if you’re prepared for those situations and can respond quickly when needed, your job will be much easier.

Requirements to become a train conductor

High school diploma or equivalent

Although a high school diploma is required to pursue any type of career, there are alternatives that can lead you to the same place. If you’re completely satisfied with being a conductor, and have no desire to move up in the ranks, then no need to fret if you don’t have your diploma. For this entry-level position, all you really need is a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

If you plan on taking on the role of conductor and then aiming for higher positions such as train engineer or locomotive engineer later down the road, however, it’s best to get your diploma—the majority of employers will require it for these jobs.

Train operator certification

Train operator certification is a basic requirement to become a train operator. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requires all operators who are responsible for the safety of passengers to have current certification. This type of certification is issued by the FRA, an organization that sets minimum standards for railroads, and by STB, the federal agency that regulates freight railroads. You can also acquire this type of certification from many other sources.

The certification will demonstrate your knowledge and skills in conducting train operations and will be valid for 10 years. Once you have acquired this type of certification, you will need to demonstrate your skills in person before receiving full authorization from STB or FRA to operate a passenger-carrying railroad car or engine on federal railroad trackage.

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Medical assessment

  • Have good hearing. If you’re planning on becoming a train conductor, it’s a good idea to get your hearing checked before you dive too far into the application process, as it is required for train conductors. The threshold for passing the hearing test is very low, with no loss in either ear at or below 25 decibels allowed (the average amount of background noise in an office). If you happen to have less than 20/20 vision and are pursuing a career as a train conductor, it might be better to look into jobs that don’t require perfect eyesight—it could save you time and money down the road if your vision is not up to par.
  • Be physically fit. In addition to having strong ears, being able-bodied is an important quality for train conductors. This doesn’t mean that you have to be able-bodied right now; rather, if you’re looking towards conducting trains as a career and also currently have a disability that means you can’t lift heavy items or walk long distances without taking breaks, then this may not be the best choice for you. However, there are many others who did not know they were physically unable until after training started!

Criminal background check

It is worth mentioning that if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, train conductors may not be the right career path for you. In fact, most jobs will require a criminal background check before they can even consider you as an applicant. If a company discovers that you have committed certain types of crimes in the past (such as fraud or assault), they will likely reject your application immediately on those grounds alone.

While it’s perfectly understandable to have made mistakes in your past, it would be wise to research what kinds of things can disqualify you from being hired ahead of time. Everyone has their own moral and ethical standards when it comes to accepting job applications, so don’t assume that one company will view an issue with the same leniency as another. A cooking school may give you a second chance after learning about your history with shoplifting—but if you’re looking for work at a bank and you have ever been found guilty of fraud? You’re out of luck.

These are the minimum requirements to become a train conductor.

According to Union Pacific’s website, there are several other minimum requirements for becoming a train conductor, such as train operator certification, a high school diploma or equivalent and passing certain tests (psychological, drug and physical evaluation). You must also be able to work various shifts and follow all railroad safety rules. If you meet all these minimum requirements, the next step is to apply online.

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