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Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

Coordinate activities of switch-engine crew within railroad yard, industrial plant, or similar location. Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight trains. Yardmasters review train schedules and switching orders and coordinate activities of workers engaged in railroad traffic operations, such as the makeup or breakup of trains and yard switching.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Confer with engineers regarding train routes, timetables, and cargoes, and to discuss alternative routes when there are rail defects or obstructions.
    • Record departure and arrival times, messages, tickets and revenue collected, and passenger accommodations and destinations.
    • Collect tickets, fares, or passes from passengers.
    • Document and prepare reports of accidents, unscheduled stops, or delays.
    • Signal engineers to begin train runs, stop trains, or change speed, using telecommunications equipment or hand signals.
    • Inspect freight cars for compliance with sealing procedures, and record car numbers and seal numbers.
    • Verify accuracy of timekeeping instruments with engineers to ensure trains depart on time.
    • Receive instructions from dispatchers regarding trains' routes, timetables, and cargoes.
    • Confirm routes and destination information for freight cars.
    • Observe yard traffic to determine tracks available to accommodate inbound and outbound traffic.
    • Inspect freight cars for compliance with sealing procedures, and record car numbers and seal numbers.
    • Operate controls to activate track switches and traffic signals.
    • Direct engineers to move cars to fit planned train configurations, combining or separating cars to make up or break up trains.
    • Instruct workers to set warning signals in front and at rear of trains during emergency stops.
    • Direct and instruct workers engaged in yard activities, such as switching tracks, coupling and uncoupling cars, and routing inbound and outbound traffic.
    • Inspect each car periodically during runs.
    • Keep records of the contents and destination of each train car, and make sure that cars are added or removed at proper points on routes.
    • Receive information regarding train or rail problems from dispatchers or from electronic monitoring devices.
    • Review schedules, switching orders, way bills, and shipping records to obtain cargo loading and unloading information and to plan work.
    • Instruct workers to regulate air conditioning, lighting, and heating in passenger cars to ensure passengers' comfort.
    • Supervise and coordinate crew activities to transport freight and passengers and to provide boarding, porter, maid, and meal services to passengers.
    • Arrange for the removal of defective cars from trains at stations or stops.
    • Supervise workers in the inspection and maintenance of mechanical equipment to ensure efficient and safe train operation.

    Skills

    • Operations Analysis

      Figuring out what a product or service needs to be able to do.

    • Technology Design

      Making equipment and technology useful for customers.

    • Programming

      Writing computer programs.

    • Systems Analysis

      Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.

    • Active Listening

      Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

    • Time Management

      Managing your time and the time of other people.

    • Social Perceptiveness

      Understanding people's reactions.

    • Coordination

      Changing what is done based on other people's actions.

    • Science

      Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.

    • Learning Strategies

      Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.

    • Repairing

      Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.

    • Equipment Maintenance

      Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.

    • Management of Personnel Resources

      Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.

    • Service Orientation

      Looking for ways to help people.

    • Complex Problem Solving

      Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

    • Equipment Selection

      Deciding what kind of tools and equipment are needed to do a job.

    • Systems Evaluation

      Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

    • Mathematics

      Using math to solve problems.

    • Monitoring

      Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.

    • Writing

      Writing things for co-workers or customers.

    • Installation

      Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.

    • Quality Control Analysis

      Testing how well a product or service works.

    • Management of Material Resources

      Managing equipment and materials.

    • Judgment and Decision Making

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Reading work-related information.

    • Critical Thinking

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

    • Persuasion

      Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.

    • Negotiation

      Bringing people together to solve differences.

    • Operations Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.

    • Troubleshooting

      Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.

    • Operation and Control

      Using equipment or systems.

    • Management of Financial Resources

      Making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent.

    • Active Learning

      Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    • Instructing

      Teaching people how to do something.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    4

    Abilities

    • Gross Body Coordination

      Moving your arms, legs, and mid-section together while your whole body is moving.

    • Near Vision

      Seeing details up close.

    • Auditory Attention

      Paying attention to one sound while there are other distracting sounds.

    • Static Strength

      Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying.

    • Depth Perception

      Deciding which thing is closer or farther away from you, or deciding how far away it is from you.

    • Explosive Strength

      Jumping, sprinting, or throwing something.

    • Flexibility of Closure

      Seeing hidden patterns.

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      Keeping your arm or hand steady.

    • Night Vision

      Seeing at night or under low light.

    • Selective Attention

      Paying attention to something without being distracted.

    • Number Facility

      Adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.

    • Visual Color Discrimination

      Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.

    • Glare Sensitivity

      Seeing something even if there is a glare or very bright light.

    • Control Precision

      Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

    • Manual Dexterity

      Holding or moving items with your hands.

    • Reaction Time

      Quickly moving your hand, finger, or foot based on a sound, light, picture or other command.

    • Gross Body Equilibrium

      Keeping your balance or staying upright.

    • Far Vision

      Seeing details that are far away.

    • Written Expression

      Communicating by writing.

    • Trunk Strength

      Using your lower back and stomach.

    • Wrist-Finger Speed

      Making fast, simple, repeated movements of your fingers, hands, and wrists.

    • Dynamic Flexibility

      Quickly and repeatedly bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Speed of Closure

      Quickly knowing what you are looking at.

    • Rate Control

      Changing when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

    • Speed of Limb Movement

      Quickly moving your arms and legs.

    • Finger Dexterity

      Putting together small parts with your fingers.

    • Deductive Reasoning

      Using rules to solve problems.

    • Perceptual Speed

      Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

    • Peripheral Vision

      Seeing something to your side when your are looking ahead.

    • Extent Flexibility

      Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Visualization

      Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

    • Fluency of Ideas

      Coming up with lots of ideas.

    • Mathematical Reasoning

      Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.

    • Information Ordering

      Ordering or arranging things.

    • Spatial Orientation

      Knowing where things are around you.

    • Written Comprehension

      Reading and understanding what is written.

    • Response Orientation

      Quickly deciding if you should move your hand, foot, or other body part.

    • Oral Comprehension

      Listening and understanding what people say.

    • Originality

      Creating new and original ideas.

    • Speech Recognition

      Recognizing spoken words.

    • Dynamic Strength

      Exercising for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

    • Multilimb Coordination

      Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.

    • Memorization

      Remembering words, numbers, pictures, or steps.

    • Oral Expression

      Communicating by speaking.

    • Category Flexibility

      Grouping things in different ways.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      Noticing when problems happen.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.

    • Time Sharing

      Doing two or more things at the same time.

    • Speech Clarity

      Speaking clearly.

    • Hearing Sensitivity

      Telling the difference between sounds.

    • Sound Localization

      Noticing the direction that a sound came from.

    • Stamina

      Exercising for a long time without getting out of breath.

    Knowledge

    • Personnel and Human Resources

      Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

    • Sales and Marketing

      Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    • Foreign Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • Physics

      Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.

    • Economics and Accounting

      Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

    • Engineering and Technology

      Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

    • Production and Processing

      Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    • Law and Government

      Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

    • Computers and Electronics

      Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    • Mechanical

      Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Sociology and Anthropology

      Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.

    • Philosophy and Theology

      Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

    • Transportation

      Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Telecommunications

      Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

    • Psychology

      Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    • Food Production

      Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

    • Building and Construction

      Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    • History and Archeology

      Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

    • Geography

      Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

    • Design

      Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    • Fine Arts

      Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

    • Administration and Management

      Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

    • Administrative

      Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

    • Chemistry

      Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

    • Public Safety and Security

      Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    • Education and Training

      Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    • Therapy and Counseling

      Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

    • Communications and Media

      Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

    • Medicine and Dentistry

      Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

    • Biology

      Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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    Pay

    • Ohio Annual Salary 62870/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 30.22/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 34,700
    • Yearly Projected Openings 3100

    Typical Education

    Personality

    Enterprising: People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Integrity
    • Self Control
    • Independence
    • Cooperation

    Tools

    • Adjustable wrenches
    • Bar code reader equipment
    • Desktop computers
    • Dock plates
    • Intercom systems
    • Location based messaging service platforms
    • Lockout devices
    • Mainframe computers
    • Notebook computers
    • Personal computers
    • Punches or nail sets or drifts
    • Radio frequency identification devices
    • Radio frequency transmitters or receivers
    • Rail couplers
    • Rail switching systems
    • Ratchets
    • Specialty wrenches
    • Tie down anchors
    • Truck or rail scales
    • Two way radios
    • Winches
    • Wire or cable cutter

    Technology

    • Expert system software
    • Industrial control software
    • Inventory management software
    • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software
    • Office suite software

    Tags

    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.
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