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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

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

    Skills

    • Technology Design

      Making equipment and technology useful for customers.

    • Management of Material Resources

      Managing equipment and materials.

    • Time Management

      Managing your time and the time of other people.

    • Service Orientation

      Looking for ways to help people.

    • Troubleshooting

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

    • Systems Analysis

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

    • Writing

      Writing things for co-workers or customers.

    • Science

      Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.

    • Monitoring

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

    • Persuasion

      Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.

    • Active Listening

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

    • Operations Monitoring

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

    • Quality Control Analysis

      Testing how well a product or service works.

    • Management of Financial Resources

      Making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent.

    • Judgment and Decision Making

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

    • Programming

      Writing computer programs.

    • Equipment Selection

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

    • Equipment Maintenance

      Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others.

    • Coordination

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

    • Critical Thinking

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

    • Active Learning

      Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    • Complex Problem Solving

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

    • Repairing

      Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.

    • Installation

      Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.

    • Systems Evaluation

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

    • Management of Personnel Resources

      Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Reading work-related information.

    • Instructing

      Teaching people how to do something.

    • Mathematics

      Using math to solve problems.

    • Learning Strategies

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

    • Social Perceptiveness

      Understanding people's reactions.

    • Operations Analysis

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

    • Operation and Control

      Using equipment or systems.

    • Negotiation

      Bringing people together to solve differences.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    4

    Abilities

    • Information Ordering

      Ordering or arranging things.

    • Speech Recognition

      Recognizing spoken words.

    • Inductive Reasoning

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

    • Memorization

      Remembering words, numbers, pictures, or steps.

    • Visualization

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

    • Reaction Time

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

    • Dynamic Flexibility

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

    • Speed of Limb Movement

      Quickly moving your arms and legs.

    • Gross Body Coordination

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

    • Night Vision

      Seeing at night or under low light.

    • Originality

      Creating new and original ideas.

    • Oral Expression

      Communicating by speaking.

    • Oral Comprehension

      Listening and understanding what people say.

    • Flexibility of Closure

      Seeing hidden patterns.

    • Glare Sensitivity

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

    • Rate Control

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

    • Fluency of Ideas

      Coming up with lots of ideas.

    • Spatial Orientation

      Knowing where things are around you.

    • Auditory Attention

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

    • Extent Flexibility

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

    • Written Comprehension

      Reading and understanding what is written.

    • Written Expression

      Communicating by writing.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      Noticing when problems happen.

    • Deductive Reasoning

      Using rules to solve problems.

    • Speed of Closure

      Quickly knowing what you are looking at.

    • Control Precision

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

    • Depth Perception

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

    • Finger Dexterity

      Putting together small parts with your fingers.

    • Peripheral Vision

      Seeing something to your side when your are looking ahead.

    • Multilimb Coordination

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

    • Static Strength

      Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying.

    • Wrist-Finger Speed

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

    • Explosive Strength

      Jumping, sprinting, or throwing something.

    • Gross Body Equilibrium

      Keeping your balance or staying upright.

    • Visual Color Discrimination

      Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.

    • Time Sharing

      Doing two or more things at the same time.

    • Trunk Strength

      Using your lower back and stomach.

    • Dynamic Strength

      Exercising for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

    • Near Vision

      Seeing details up close.

    • Response Orientation

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

    • Stamina

      Exercising for a long time without getting out of breath.

    • Category Flexibility

      Grouping things in different ways.

    • Number Facility

      Adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.

    • Manual Dexterity

      Holding or moving items with your hands.

    • Mathematical Reasoning

      Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.

    • Perceptual Speed

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

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      Keeping your arm or hand steady.

    • Hearing Sensitivity

      Telling the difference between sounds.

    • Selective Attention

      Paying attention to something without being distracted.

    • Sound Localization

      Noticing the direction that a sound came from.

    • Far Vision

      Seeing details that are far away.

    • Speech Clarity

      Speaking clearly.

    Knowledge

    • English Language

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

    • Fine Arts

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

    • History and Archeology

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

    • Law and Government

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

    • 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.

    • Mathematics

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Economics and Accounting

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

    • 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.

    • Telecommunications

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

    • Transportation

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Production and Processing

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Food Production

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

    • Sociology and Anthropology

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

    • Mechanical

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

    • 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.

    • Computers and Electronics

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

    • 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.

    • Biology

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

    • 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.

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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 1,250
    • Yearly Projected Openings 110

    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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