Train Conductor

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Norfolk Southern (NS) conductors are responsible for the safe & efficient movement of freight trains. A conductor’s job can include coupling railcars to build trains, delivering railcars to local customers, and transporting trains hundreds of miles.

The conductor position can often mean a significant lifestyle change as the work schedule is often non-traditional (weekend, holidays, nights), and requires many to be available to work on a 2-hour notice.


During training a Conductor Trainee (CT) will earn $25 per hour, with a minimum $200 in earnings per shift. Additionally, CTs are eligible for an on-the-job training incentive of $300 per bi-weekly pay period.

After training, conductors earn an average of $71,000 in their first year. Conductors have the potential to earn more each year as they increase in levels of their union seniority. Experienced conductors earn an average of $84,000 per year.

Based on your location’s needs and seniority, a conductor will be required to promote to a locomotive engineer position. A locomotive engineer is assigned to an extra board that has a guarantee minimum earnings of approximately $94,000. Many engineers will often earn $100,000+ due to work opportunities at their location.

Also, CTs are eligible for three incentive payments totaling $5,000 for achieving the below milestones:

  • $1,000 after successful completion of the conductor trainee training examinations (approximately week 3 of employment)
  • $$2,000 after successful completion of the conductor training program (approximately week 13 of employment)
  • $$2,000 nine (9) months after completion of the conductor training program


Norfolk Southern utilizes a comprehensive training program for both conductor and locomotive engineer, consisting of classroom and field training. Successful completion of these programs is a requirement for employment. CTs should expect to go through a training program of approximately 14-16 weeks before promoting to a conductor position.

The first 3 weeks of employment will occur at the NS Training Center in McDonough, GA. Individuals are responsible for providing their own transportation to the area. Norfolk Southern will provide the hotel accommodation, a mileage reimbursement, and a meal stipend during the 3-week training period in McDonough, GA. The remaining 11-13 weeks of training will take place at or near the hire location for on-the-job training.

Work Schedule

A CT will expect to work a schedule similar to that of a regular conductor. As a conductor you will most likely be assigned to a conductors’ extra board. Conductor extra boards have schedules with a minimum of two rest days for every six consecutive working days. While not on your rest days, you are subject to be called to work 24 hours a day, on an as-needed basis. Extra board work schedules are irregular and are determined by business needs.

You will be required to report to your work location within a 90-minute to 2-hour notice. regardless of time of day. Reliable transportation is necessary. Further, conductors should expect to routinely spend time away home,1-2 days at a time.


Medical insurance for you, your spouse, and eligible dependents is provided on the first day of the second calendar month of employment. After one year of employment, you are eligible for dental insurance to cover yourself and eligible dependents, a $20,000 life insurance plan for yourself, and participation in the Norfolk Southern 401(K) plan.

You are subject to Railroad Retirement taxes paid at a rate equivalent to Social Security tax plus an additional 4.9%. You are also covered by Railroad Retirement benefits and, following completion of the service requirement, you will be eligible for Railroad Retirement benefits. Conductors can also qualify for up to 5 weeks of paid time off based on their work record and seniority.

Additional information on benefits can be found at

Union Membership

You will be required to join a union within 60 days of becoming a conductor and establishing a seniority date.

Work Environment

A conductor should expect to work outdoors in all types of weather conditions. This may mean working in poor weather conditions day or night.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

Conductors are subject to random alcohol and drug testing as per the Federal Railroad Administration Guidelines. The Norfolk Southern Policy is ZERO TOLERANCE. We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform pre-employment substance abuse testing.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: From $71,000.00 per year


  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee discount
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Referral program
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • 10 hour shift
  • 12 hour shift
  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Evening shift
  • Holidays
  • Night shift
  • On call
  • Overnight shift
  • Overtime
  • Weekend availability

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • Decatur, IL 62521: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required)


  • Driver’s License (Required)

Work Location: One location

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