Train Conductor

Website Norfolk Southern Corp

Job Description
Norfolk Southern (NS) conductors are responsible for the safe and 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. A conductor’s job can include responsibilities such as handling and interpreting electronic paperwork/track inventory, troubleshooting train issues such as making repairs, incident reporting, and inspection procedures The conductor position can often mean a significant lifestyle change as the work schedule is often non-traditional due to the 24/7/365 industry and requires one to be available to work within a 90-minute notice.
Please use the links below to see our Frequently Asked Questions and watch a short video detailing the roles and responsibilities of a conductor prior to submitting your application.
Conductor FAQs
Conductor Job Overview (YouTube)
During training a Conductor Trainee (CT) will earn $25 per hour, with a minimum $200 in earnings per shift excluding weekends. 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 $70,000 annually 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.
Training and Schedule
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.
Successful completion of Norfolk Southern training program results in receiving an FRA Certification as a Qualified Conductor serving in freight train service. As a requirement of certification, the trainee is required to pass a series of written test pertinent to the application of rules: safety, hazmat, signals and field evaluations.
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. Conductor’s and CTs are available by federal law to work up to 12’00” daily. You should be prepared to work a full day.
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 from home, 1-2 days at a time)
Additional Information
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. Average Union dues are $110/ Month
Work Environment
Conductors are considered essential employees and will be required to arrive at work during inclement weather. In addition, 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
A pre-employment drug and alcohol screening test is a condition of employment. Further, throughout your career, 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.
Company Overview
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is a Fortune 300 organization and one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern is a major transporter of industrial products, including chemicals, agriculture, and metals and construction materials. In addition, the railroad operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a principal carrier of coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.
At Norfolk Southern, we believe in celebrating our individuality. By leveraging the unique backgrounds and viewpoints of our employees, we can create a culture of innovation, respect, and inclusion. We know that employees thrive in a workplace where differing viewpoints, ideas, and experiences are freely shared and valued. As such, we encourage all employees to contribute their distinctive skills and capabilities to our organization.
Equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Together, we power progress.