NS: ‘We Want YOU as a Conductor’

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Norfolk Southern photo

In the midst of adversarial national bargaining for which a PEB (Presidential Emergency Board) has been formed in the hopes of averting a nationwide rail worker strike, as well as a time when railroads are scrambling to alleviate a worker shortage, Norfolk Southern has increased Conductor Trainee pay to $25 per hour, with a minimum of $200 in earnings per shift. 

“Additionally, Conductor Trainees are eligible for an on the job training incentive of $300 per bi-weekly pay period, provided they make themselves available to work,” NS said. 

Conductor trainees in “priority locations” can earn up to $5,000 in starting bonuses. Priority locations include:

  • Bellevue, Ohio.
  • Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Conway, Pa.
  • Decatur, Ill.
  • Elkhart, Ind.
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Harrisburg, Pa.
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Peru, Ind.
  • Princeton, Ind.
  • Roanoke, Va.

Conductor Trainees at the railroad’s other locations can earn up to $2,500 in starting bonuses.

NS noted that in their first year, its conductors earn an average of $67,000, “and have the potential to earn more each year as they increase in levels of seniority. They also participate in the Railroad Retirement System and have a 401(k) savings option, best-in-class healthcare coverage, all in addition to other competitive benefits.” The railroad provided a basic job description in its public announcement, stating that conductors “are responsible for the safe and efficient movement of freight trains. A conductor’s job can include coupling railcars to build trains, delivering railcars to local customers, and transporting trains hundreds of miles. No prior railroad experience is required, applicants only need to be 18 years of age, successfully complete a standard background check, and meet physical requirements.”

NS added it “utilizes a comprehensive training program for both conductors and locomotive engineers, consisting of classroom and field training. Successful completion of these programs is a requirement for employment. Conductor trainees should expect to complete a training program of approximately 16 weeks before promoting to a conductor position. The first three weeks of training occur at the Norfolk Southern Training Center in McDonough, Ga. The remaining weeks of training take place at or near their hiring location. The company provides all the technical training and tools conductors need to be both safe and successful on the job.”

“We are committed to ensuring our newest team members are well-compensated while they work toward qualifying as conductors,” said Brad Dodd, NS Director Talent Acquisition. “Norfolk Southern is a great fit for those who want responsibility, autonomy, and take pride in the work they do. We offer competitive compensation, best-in-class healthcare benefits, technical training, and professional growth opportunities. “One of the clear benefits of our industry is the opportunity for future advancement and the potential for increased earnings. Through their seniority, conductors will be promoted to a locomotive engineer position that has guaranteed minimum annual pay of approximately $94,000, along with benefits. Many of our engineers earn more than $100,000 with the work opportunities at their locations.”

Applicants can apply online at Jobs.NSCorp.com.

Norfolk Southern photo
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