How to Become a Train Conductor in 2022 (Major tips)

How to Become a Train Conductor

Your desire to become a train conductor should not just end as a wish, you can work things out. If you are ready, you should pay keen attention to this article to learn how to become a train conductor.

Train conductors have to manage the train, cargo, passengers, and crew together. Train conductors work with the driver or engineer to get the train safely and quickly from one station to another station.

Be ready to travel for days and work late hours, often at night and on weekends.

Who is a Train Conductor? 

Train conductors act as supervisors on trains that go over a long distance.

Train conductors can supervise the loading and unloading of goods and passengers and coordinate the activities of onboard personnel.

During a trip, train conductors keep passengers informed by announcing upcoming arrivals and changes in schedules during a trip. They also ensure that safety procedures are observed all the time. 

What Training do I need for a Job as a Train Conductor? 

Training on Becoming a Train Conductor is often managed through employer programs. You are eligible for a position only if you have a high school diploma or equivalent and passed a drug test.

You would have a better chance of landing the job of a train conductor if you earned an associate’s degree or certification.

In conjunction with area railroads, community colleges offer conductor training, railroad conductor technology, or railroad operations programs.

Community college programs clarify your job as a train conductor in ensuring the train operations safely and your duty to remain abreast of changing conditions.

The programs combine classroom study with internships that offer hands-on work experience.

The courses you will offer may cover railway history, rules of operation, and the service duties of a conductor.

The responsibilities of a Train Conductor? 

Your job will be to make sure that all members of your train crew are carrying out their respective duties. You will work with the engineer and yardmaster to resolve any other trains or obstructions on the track.

If there is any mechanical issue, you can report the issue to the engineer and keep passengers informed of any rerouting. 

Your tasks will focus on the safety of your passengers and other cargoes. On cargo trains, you must monitor the weight distribution on the train and take an inventory of every content.

On passenger trains, you will collect tickets and work in hand with the engineer to meet departure and arrival times schedules. 

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Other Duties of a Train Conductor

As a train conductor, you have several duties to perform on the train, regardless of the type of train in question; however, the duties of a train conductor primarily rely on the type of train. The general tasks of a conductor are as follows: 

  • Carry out a preliminary check on the train before departure. 
  • Communicate with station staff regarding cargo lists, obstacles on the track, schedules, or changes in departure or arrival time. 
  • Constantly observing tracks for potential obstacles and route signals.
  • Comply with applicable laws, regulations and initiate procedures at all times. 
  • Be of assistance to passengers where required during the trip. 
  • Notify passengers of the following steps. 
  • Follow all aspects of the operation of the train, such as signals, orders, laws, and regulations under the regulations of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). 
  • Monitor the comfort, safety, and orderly transportation of all passengers.
  • Go through each passenger’s ticket to ensure they are on the correct train.
  • Collect payments from passengers entering the train.
  • Review and follow instructions from yardmasters and dispatchers. 
  • Convey safety travel and the essential information to all crew members.

How to Become a Train Conductor 

Your zeal to become a train conductor doesn’t have to end with just a. You can put in the effort if it’s really what you want. If you are prepared, you should focus more on this article section. 

Like any other job, you are required to meet to have the chance of becoming a train conductor. Some of these requirements are as follows: 

  • A high school diploma; it is necessary to have previously obtained a high school diploma or a GED.
  • Certification as a conductor; You will need to register and pass a certification course to become a train conductor. 
  • Apply for the position of a train conductor; this is the obvious and most crucial step to take, as you can only get the job if you apply for it.
  • Finally, obtain the necessary licenses for further advancements. 

Also, there are some skills that you should acquire which would place you in a merit position in your quest to become a train conductor.

Such required skills are vital and should not be taken for granted. These skills include:

  • Time management; knowing how to manage your time is not negotiable.
  • Mechanics and operations
  • Communication; as you will be interacting with strangers on board, good communication skills will help you during your trips.
  • Customer service
  • Good health; You must be in good health.

How much do Train Conductors earn? 

Train conductors’ earnings are based on the location in which they operate.

However, a train conductor working in the United States makes an average of about $52,000 annually. 

Additionally, the salaries of a train conductor could range between $13,000 to $140,000 depending on the location and the company concerned. Train conductors generally work 40 hours per week.

While passenger trains, as well as cargo trains, run around the clock, requiring train conductors to take shifts in the morning, afternoon, night, and even during the holidays. 


Suppose you have graduated from high school and want to prepare for a position as a train conductor.

In that case, you can check out training programs through transportation technology departments at community colleges or via professional railroad organizations.

You can conclude most of these programs in about two years, but for training offered on the job, it is completed in as little as 4 to 8 weeks.

Both programs generally involve both classroom and practical learning.

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