Railroad Jobs

Railroads have been used as a means of transport since the introduction of man-powered vehicles in 6th century B.C. Greece, where limestone tracks were used to haul boats over the Corinth isthmus. Since then, technological advances and the low-friction physics behind rail transport have been credited with advancing the industrial revolution, creating national economies, turning the US into a economic superpower and more.

The average salary for railroad jobs in North America is right around $45,000 per year but this number is a bit misleading because pay ranges include salaries for operation of freight transport locomotives, long range passenger trains, and mass transit/subway systems along with lower paying administrative jobs that happen to be with rail transport companies. In fact, rail is one of the few industries where college is not required to earn a six-figure income. Some of the top annual salaries in the industry hover around the $100,000 range. For those working on the rails and running train systems, the average pay is around $60,000 per year.

Many of the railroad job titles with which one might be familiar have remained relatively unchanged for over a century. However, as with most industries, technological advancements have created a steady stream of new technical and engineering jobs on the railroad. In more advanced rail systems, a few of the jobs previously handled by a person are now automated; creating new jobs with rail industry suppliers.  From magnetically propelled super trains to commuter trains outfitted with infotainment systems for every passenger, the rail industry is creating solid employment opportunities all over the world.

An abbreviated list of common railroad job titles includes:

Engineering (Building locomotives and rolling stock)

  • Chief Mechanical Engineer/ Rolling Stock Engineer / Locomotive Superintendent
  • Locomotive Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Signaling Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Project Controls
  • Project Management
  • Construction
  • Permanent Way
  • Track Engineering
  • Quality Engineer
  • Health, Safety & Environmental Engineer
  • Document Control Engineer
  • Structural Engineering
  • Telecoms Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Administrator


  • Engineer (driver)
  • Boilerman
  • Chief fireman
  • Conductor (human transport)
  • Secondman
  • Freight Carman
  • Brakeman
  • Guard


  • Station agent
  • Station master
  • Porter


  • Ticket controller (transportation)
  • Revenue Protection Inspector
  • Ticket inspector


  • Train dispatcher
  • Dispatcher/ Logistics Coordinator
  • Crew Dispatcher
  • Clerk
  • Yardmaster
  • Yardmaster's Trainee
  • Freight Conductor
  • Signalman (rail)
  • Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators


  • Road foreman of engines
  • Diesel Mechanic
  • Apprentice Diesel Mechanic
  • Freight Car Repairer
  • Apprentice Freight Car Repairer
  • Mechanical Service Operator
  • Diesel Electrician
  • Apprentice Diesel Electrician

Maintenance of way

  • Bridge inspector
  • Gandy dancer
  • Length runner
  • Railway lubricator
  • Section gang
  • Signal maintainer
  • Track inspector
  • Traquero
  • Platelayer
  • Navvy (navigator)
  • Work Equipment Mechanic
  • Apprentice Work Equipment Mechanic
  • Assistant Signal Person
  • Bridge and Building Electrician
  • Bridge and Building Carpenter
  • Mechanical Service Operator
  • Track Laborer/Welder
  • Utility Clerk
  • Electronic Technician
  • Installation Technician

Talascend has been providing rail industry clients and their suppliers with best-fit technical and engineering talent around the world for over half a century. Contact our rail specialist team to find out more about how we can help your staff your next project. Interested candidates can apply for railroad jobs directly or register with us to gain access to unpublished jobs and for future consideration here on our site.  

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