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Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator

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All About Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators

Example of Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator Job Operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.

Life As a Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator

  • Set flares, flags, lanterns, or torpedoes in front and at rear of trains during emergency stops to warn oncoming trains.
  • Answer questions from passengers concerning train rules, stations, and timetable information.
  • Inspect tracks, cars, and engines for defects and to determine service needs, sending engines and cars for repairs as necessary.
  • Climb ladders to tops of cars to set brakes.
  • Raise levers to couple and uncouple cars for makeup and breakup of trains.
  • Make minor repairs to couplings, air hoses, and journal boxes, using hand tools.

What Every Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator Should Know

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Types of Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator Jobs

  • Terminal Carman
  • Railroad Carman
  • Car Rider
  • Set Rider
  • Transportation Specialist

Is There Going to be Demand for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 19,300 jobs in the United States for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator. There will be an estimated 1,700 positions for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator are Nebraska, Texas, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Louisiana, Tennessee, or Wisconsin. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators ranges between about $34,610 and $85,590 a year.

Salary Ranges for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators who work in South Carolina, Massachusetts, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $48,250
Arkansas $45,000
Florida $39,450
Georgia $54,570
Illinois $63,030
Indiana $51,600
Iowa $49,980
Kansas $63,980
Kentucky $49,850
Louisiana $54,650
Maryland $60,100
Massachusetts $70,560
Michigan $60,940
Minnesota $67,900
Missouri $63,610
Montana $56,520
Nebraska $61,200
New Jersey $57,610
New York $72,170
North Carolina $57,250
Ohio $58,440
Oklahoma $61,580
Oregon $65,970
Pennsylvania $56,080
South Carolina $72,930
Texas $57,890
Utah $49,270
Virginia $46,540
Washington $66,160
West Virginia $49,550
Wisconsin $65,780
Wyoming $58,390

What Tools do Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Data entry software
  • Route mapping software
  • Time tracking software
  • Electronic train management systems ETMS

Becoming a Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator

What kind of Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator requirements are there?

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator?

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator Work Experience

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators Sector

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators work:

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operator might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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