Understanding How to Become a Train Conductor

train conductor

Train conductors organize railroad activity. They work on both passenger and freight trains. While their duties differ with each position, typically, conductors manage schedules, supervise switching orders. As a professional train conductor, you will have to ensure that the cargo or passengers are secure.

Conductors sometimes deal with demanding or disorderly customers during the train delays. The job involves continuous travel and long routes. It needs conductors to spend several days away from home. They need to work weekend and evening hours. Regardless of the kind of train, a conductor has several responsibilities. However, the actual duties depend on the type of train.

How to Become a Train Conductor

Train conductor jobs are to interact with customers in many ways before, during, and after a train ride. Are you looking forward to becoming a train conductor? Then you must have strong clerical, mechanical, and customer service skills.

Train conductors work closely with engineers, train crews, supervisors, passengers, and yard crews. Professional certification is required for this career, while some specific butchering programs can enhance your work experience.

Train Conductor Job Description

Duties for train conductors include collecting passenger tickets or train fares. He may have irregular work schedules. He will be responsible for coordinating the transportation of trains and freight crews. A train conductor will review freight documentation and preserve records of customers. They keep logs and reports relating to arrival and departure times, tickets and fares, train movements, and unscheduled delays and stops.

As a conductor, your duty will be focused on safety, whether of your cargo passengers or others. As a conductor, you will monitor the distribution of weight in freight cars and inventory. On passenger trains, you will work with the engineer to meet arrival and departure schedules.

A conductor makes sure he assist and alerts the passengers to upcoming and scheduled stops. A conductor has to acquire a profound knowledge of orderly transport of passengers to reduce the workload of the customers.

Career Path and Train Conductor Salary

You can have a steady workflow and growth as a train conductor. Get more experienced and create a demand for yourself in this industry.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected the average job growth of 14% for train conductors in 2015. This projection is higher than average when compared with other occupations in the U.S. However, the demand for entry-level train conductor among customers is decreasing.

Do you wonder how much a train conductor makes does? Well, the average train conductor salary is $59,780 annually and $28.74 per hour in the United States. And the top 10% of annual wages start from $92,280 per annum and $44.36 per hour while the bottom 10% Annual Salary of a train conductor is $41,690 and $20.04 per hour.

In some cases, train conductors may be paid as per the miles traveled or hours worked, which could result in advanced salaries.

Train Conductor Training

  • A train conductor, you can earn a high school diploma or equal degree. It is the best idea to take programs that teach like electronics, mechanical skills, and English.
  • Decide if you want to get practical training or take a course in showing from a public college. Earning a diploma from a community college will give you an advantage in looking for a job.
  • Get understanding by checking for an entry-level location with a train corporation. You’ll improve as you get more experience.
  • Check occasionally with your company or with a suitable administration office about licensing necessities. Currently, conductors do not require to be licensed. However, this might alter in the future.
  • You can read online forums about the railway industry, and read the individual accounts of present and past conductors. Don’t be afraid to spread out to train conductors for more information, even if you’re asking queries through a forum. You might look that several veteran conductors are content to share their know-how with you.
  • Train conductors obtain on-the-job training from their companies. You can also join a professional association. Several professional organizations are obtainable to train conductors. This training can last up to three months and allows aspiring train conductors to learn from experienced conductors. They’re taught about the everyday duties of their job and the proper ways for loading cargo on freight trains. More prominent rail companies have their training programs, while smaller ones might apply for community college programs.
  • Train conductors working on regional or national traveler railroads should pass a Federal Railroad Administration test to earn a suitable certification.

Train Conductor Jobs Outlook

Job growth for train conductors is projected to remain increasing by 2 percent for the year ending in 2026. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(1), this is considered average than the 8 percent development anticipated for all occupations as a whole. BLS traits the projected increase to numerous factors. Demand for coal is as more power plants are using natural gas and an upsurge in pipelines reductions the requirement for rail transportation for gas and oil.

Work Schedules

Rail schedules verbalize schedules for train conductors. Conductors often need to be obtainable to work evenings, weekends, and even holidays. Conductors working on trains with long routes may spend days away from home. Trains that function locally or regionally are more likely to let the conductors have a regular shift.


Working a train needs the Conductor to follow a few of the orders, signs, and follow strict laws and guidelines intended to safeguard energy and time efficiency. Above all, passenger safety is also a must. All train activities should be thoroughly coordinated and calculated to stop accidents, which can lead to devastating consequences.