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Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters Pay Salary

The median annual wage of conductors and yardmasters was $49,770 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,510 and the top 10 percent earned more than $76,270.

The median annual wage of conductors and yardmasters in the rail transportation industry, where most are employed, was $48,580 in May 2010.

Most conductors and yardmasters are members of one of the two major unions representing rail workers.

Most conductors and yardmasters have full-time schedules, although they do not necessarily work a standard 9-to-5 workweek. Because trains run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, many conductors and yardmasters work weekends, nights, and holidays.

Conductors who work on long freight routes may be away from home for long periods. Conductors on shorter passenger routes and yardmasters have more predictable schedules.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition