Railroads are Recruiting Conductors

When you think of jobs on a railroad, the position of Locomotive Engineer probably comes at you first. The Conductor position probably comes in a close second though.

Everyone’s familiar with the conductor on the train asking for tickets and announcing when the train is pulling into each depot. On a passenger train, the conductor is responsible for making sure that the passengers are seated in their proper seats and that they’ve bought a ticket for passage on the train.

Without conductors to check the tickets, anyone could simply slip onboard a train and ride for free.

The Job of a Conductor

Many railroad conductors now have other duties to perform as the position of rail brake operator has been practically phased out by rail companies, trying to save money where they can.

It now falls to the conductor to also handle this essential work by helping to couple and uncouple rail cars and also to operate some rail switches along the route. Like their name implies, conductors conduct the work efforts of freight and passenger crews. They also review schedules and shipping orders and waybills to ensure that the proper cargo gets to where it’s supposed to go. They make sure that any rail cars that are defective and need repair or maintenance work are put off at the nearest depot for work to be completed on them.

They are in charge of yard crews when the train is at the depot and coordinate schedules for maintenance and repairs on any cars needing work at that time. By staying in close contact with the engineer by means of electronic voice systems, the conductor ensures that the level of communication between all members of the train crew remains close.


Conductors can earn anywhere from $23.40 to $33.77 depending on the company and area of the country the work is in. The best states to work in as a conductor include New Mexico ($33.77 hr.) and Mississippi ($31.95 hr.). Here’s the latest salary information:

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