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Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters - 53-4031.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Conductor
  • Freight Conductor
  • Railroad Conductor
  • Train Master
  • Trainman
  • Yardmaster

SOC Occupation Groups

53-0000 Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
53-4000 Rail Transportation Workers
53-4030 Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters
53-4031.00 Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

Related Occupations


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

Detailed Work Activities

  • Arrange maintenance activities.
  • Collect fares or payment from customers.
  • Communicate with others to coordinate vehicle movement.
  • Control equipment that regulates vehicle traffic.
  • Direct emergency management activities.
  • Direct maintenance or repair activities.
  • Direct passenger or freight transport activities.
  • Inspect locomotives or other railroad equipment.
  • Monitor vehicle movement or location.
  • Prepare accident or incident reports.
  • Receive information or instructions for performing work assignments.
  • Record operational details of travel.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Review work orders or schedules to determine operations or procedures.
  • Signal others to coordinate vehicle movement.
  • Verify information or specifications.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Cavalry Scout (Army - Enlisted)
  • Railway Specialist (USAR only) (Army - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Railroad Conductor

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Car Chaser
  • Conductor, Passenger Car
  • Conductor, Pullman
  • Conductor, Road Freight
  • Train Dispatcher
  • Yard Manager