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Railroad Conductors & Yardmasters

Also called: Conductor, Freight Conductor, Railroad Conductor, Yardmaster

What they do:
Coordinate activities of switch-engine crew within railroad yard, industrial plant, or similar location. Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight trains. Yardmasters review train schedules and switching orders and coordinate activities of workers engaged in railroad traffic operations, such as the makeup or breakup of trains and yard switching.
On the job, you would:
  • Signal engineers to begin train runs, stop trains, or change speed, using telecommunications equipment or hand signals.
  • Confer with engineers regarding train routes, timetables, and cargoes, and to discuss alternative routes when there are rail defects or obstructions.
  • Receive information regarding train or rail problems from dispatchers or from electronic monitoring devices.

Knowledge

Safety and Government
  • public safety and security
  • law and government
Transportation
  • movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design

Skills

Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • talking to others
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things
Attention
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
Hearing and Speech
  • recognize spoken words

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Self Control
  • Independence
  • Cooperation

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Industrial control software
  • Automated equipment identification AEI software
  • RailComm DocYard
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software
  • Bourque Data Systems YardMaster
  • Freight reservation software
Inventory management software
  • Inventory tracking software
  • Softrail AEI Rail & Road Manager

Education

Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$54,700
per year, on average
Green
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about railroad conductors and yardmasters.