15 Best-Paying Jobs in Railroads | 2022

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If you are interested in working in the railroad industry, you must be wondering about the best-paying jobs in the railroads.

It would please you to know that the railway sector offers a wide range of fascinating job opportunities with many advantages.

Therefore, learning about the different tasks you may do on a train and the advantages of working for the railway business can help you figure out what skills you already have and what you’ll need for these transportation professions.

This article will expose you to the top reasons for working on a train and the list of best-paying jobs in railroads.

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What are Railroad Jobs?

These are jobs that center on trains transporting people and goods from one place to another. It ensures that passengers and freight trains run on time and travel safely.

What is the Best Railroad Industry to Work for in the US?

Do you want to know which railroads are the best to work for? To answer this question, you must first understand that railroads are divided into three categories.

Hence, you can then pick which railroads are the best for you to work for.

Railroad Classes

We classify railroads into three, namely:

1. Class 1: This class of railroads offers the highest paying railroad jobs. However, to be identified as a Class 1 railroad, the company has to have a minimum of $433.2 million in revenue.

There are eight class 1 railroads operating in the United States. However, Class 1 is the best railroad industry to work for because of the huge finance involved.

  • AmTrak
  • BNSF Railway
  • Canadian National Railway
  • Canadian Pacific Railway
  • CSX Transportation
  • Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Union Pacific Railway 

2. Class 11: These are regional railroads

3. Class 111: They are the short lines and terminal railroads.

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Why Settle for a Railroad Job?

Here are a few benefits of working for a railroads company

  • Travel: Working on a train allows you to go to different parts of the country for business.
  • Benefits: Rail transportation employees can benefit from a variety of health and vacation benefits besides a competitive salary.
  • Training opportunities: Many roles in this industry offer comprehensive job training, which can give you the skills for a career in the railroad industry.
  • Unions: Many railroad companies have associations or unions that represent employees in pay and benefit negotiations. Also, a union can protect employees’ interests and potentially help improve their benefits.

What Skills Do You Need for a Career in Railroad?

The following are the necessary skills for a career in railroad:

  • Leadership skills
  • Customer service
  • Mechanical knowledge
  • Excellent communication
  • Attention to details
  • Quick decision making
  • Hand-eye coordination

15 Best-Paying Jobs in Railroads

Below are some of the best-paying jobs in railroads

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#1. Crew Member in Railroads Jobs

National average salary: $24,149 per year

Primary duties: A train crew member handles the safety and comfort of railway passengers. They can answer passengers’ questions and help a conductor with safety assurance duties.

#2. Cook in Railroads Jobs

National average salary: $25,606 per year

Primary duties: A cook makes food according to passenger requests on a passenger train. They can wash, peel, and slice fruits and vegetables, as well as do other meal preparation activities.

Train cooks can also oversee the work of other personnel in the kitchen of a train.

Also, a railroad cook can also guarantee that the train’s culinary inventory is adequate for the number of people on board and the duration of the trip.

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#3. Train Engineers in Railroads Jobs

National average salary: $65,444 per year

Primary duties: A train engineer steers trains to their destinations. Train engineers can decipher dispatcher radio broadcasts and monitor weather, adjusting their routes as needed.

Freight train engineers can also change their drive to account for varied types of freight and weights.

#4. Conductor in Railroads Jobs

National average salary: $76,404 per year

Primary duties: A conductor is a train employee who oversees the actions of the train’s crew in order to maintain passenger safety and train schedules. They can take tickets and notify passengers of a train’s regular stops on rail lines.

Therefore, they can ensure cargo loading and unloading before a train departs on freight trains. Train conductors can also help ensure that a train’s staff and passengers adhere to corporate and government train safety rules.

#5. Utility Clerk in Railroads Jobs

National average salary: $25,938 per year

Primary duties: A utility clerk in the rail industry ensures the safe movement of rail cars in rail yards. Also, utility clerks can also perform clerical duties to ensure a company’s trains operate with efficiency.

A utility clerk can also perform cleaning duties to ensure the sanitation of a train station’s work areas.

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#6. Dispatcher in Railroads Jobs

National average salary: $32,178 per year

Primary duties: To protect the safety of passengers and cargo on trains, a railway dispatcher coordinates their movement based on schedules.

Also, they can interact with train engineers regarding a train’s schedule and weather circumstances that could cause a schedule change.

Train dispatchers can also help freight trains stay on track by managing the resources of a rail yard.

#7. Train Yard Manager in Railroads Jobs

National average salary: $36,878 per year

Primary duties: a train yard manager supervises the operations of a rail yard, often known as a yardmaster.

They can delegate rail yard tasks to employees, such as placing railcars on tracks, inspecting railcars, fixing railcars, and reading train timetables.

A railroad yard manager can also track and manage the contents of each freight train car to guarantee that the cargo reaches its destination on time.

#8. Welder

National average salary: $37,398 per year

Primary duties: A railroad company may hire a welder to repair and maintain railroad lines in order to ensure safe and efficient train service. They can drive railroad spikes and restore rail beds with equipment.

Welders can also inspect for damage or faults in train tracks in order to assure and maintain their quality for railroad businesses.

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#9. Diesel Mechanic

National average salary: $48,402 per year

A diesel mechanic performs inspections, maintenance, and repairs of diesel locomotive trains. They can guarantee that trains meet passenger and cargo safety criteria set by the company and the government.

To perform their professional obligations, diesel mechanics can use heavy equipment, such as forklifts and other tools. Diesel mechanics can also diagnose problems with a train’s functions, using their expertise in the locomotive’s mechanical system.

#10. Signal Maintainer

National average salary: $50,190 per year

Primary duties: A signal maintainer keeps a railway’s signaling equipment in good operating order.

They can assist enterprises in complying with signaling laws by following government requirements for railway signals.

Signal maintainers can also test equipment regularly to guarantee that it continues to work.

#11. Carman

National average salary: $61,292 per year

Primary duties: A carman is a railroad mechanic who specializes in freight car maintenance. They can analyze railcars using their expertise in industry and government safety regulations.

Carmen can also handle repairs and maintenance on train vehicles using her technical skills. A Carman can also test a railcar’s air brakes to ensure that it is in good operating order.

#12. Switchman

National average salary: $37,500 per year

Primary duties: A switchman’s job is to operate the switches that alter the course of trains at railway junctions. Computers and hydraulic engines control modern switches.

Train dispatchers and engineers work together with switchmen to ensure that trains pass through junctions safely and on the correct track.

This position causes fast thinking and the capacity to function under duress.

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#13. Brake Operator

National average salary: $37,500 per year

Primary duties: Brake operators, also known as brakemen, are in charge of railway brakes, which are mainly airbrakes.

However, they are frequently referred to as conductor and engineer helpers. They may collect tickets at stations or give announcements to passengers on trains.

#14. Track Laborer

National average salary: $38,000 per year

Primary duties: Track laborers work for passenger and freight railroad companies, inspecting, maintaining, and repairing rail lines and some training equipment.

Also, this is physically tough work that needs a great deal of strength and endurance. Track laborers operate in the open air and cover a large area.

#15. Rail Car Loader

National average salary: $40,000 per year

Primary duties: Rail car loaders operate for private enterprises that use rail lines to deliver commodities. Rail car loaders manage the loading and securing of items into rail cars for transportation in warehouses and distribution hubs.

They also unload newly delivered products. They work with railroad firms to ensure that goods are delivered on time. This work requires knowledge of forklifts and other warehousing machinery.


Across the globe, railroad jobs are profitable and in high demand. Do the best paying jobs in railroads pay well? Absolutely! Professionals in railroad earn a decent income.

We hope you found this article interesting. Kindly reach us through the comment section for feedback.


Does railroad jobs pay well ?

Yes, railroads jobs pay well

What is the most profitable railroad?

BNSF Railway is the largest class I freight railroad in the United States, with an operating revenue of over 20.8 billion USD in 2020. The railroad is primarily used to convey freight goods such as coal, industrial products, and agricultural supplies.

Which railroad owns the most locomotives?

Union Pacific built the world’s first (diesel) streamliner, has the world’s largest fleet of turbine-electric locomotives, and still has the world’s largest operational diesel locomotive fleet (the 6936).

What railroad Does Bill Gates Own?

Bill Gates has boosted his shareholding in Canadian National Railway to 12%. Cascade Investment, Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ investment arm, stated today that it has purchased 13,670 Canadian National Railway shares, increasing Gates’ ownership of the firm by 0.0003%.



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