How Do You Become a Conductor Trainee?


Quick Answer

Prospective conductors must find a railroad company that offers on-the-job training and classroom education. Some railroads outsource this training to third-party training and education companies. Those who successfully secure a conductor trainee position begin work in the railroad industry as brakemen and entry-level conductors before becoming locomotive engineers.

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Full Answer

BNSF Railway states that a conductor trainee is responsible for safely switching railcars and the movement of tracks across an entire rail network. Conductor trainees must be properly informed of company safety regulations as well as federal regulations. They must also know what to do in case of emergency. Applicants must be in good physical condition because a large portion of the job includes climbing on and off of railcars to manually set and release handbrakes, replace broken knuckles and couple air hoses between cars.

The average entry-level salary for a conductor trainee starts at around $41,000 for the first year of employment and typically includes a hefty benefits package. To qualify for employment, candidates need to pass criminal, driving and employment screenings. Trainees should also be prepared to take drug tests at any time. Candidates must be available to work on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

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