• Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
  • Annual Median Wage
    $ 62,021
    $29,597 range bar $80,880
    Annual NC Wage Range
    Growth Rate
    Image of growth rate score 2
    Slow Growing
  • Railroad brake, signal, or switch operatorscontrol equipment that keeps trains running safely. They may help couple and uncouple train cars, control the track switches in rail yards, and install and maintain the signals along tracks and in the rail yard.

What do they typically do

  • Raise levers to couple and uncouple cars for makeup and breakup of trains
  • Use hand signals, lanterns, or radio communication to signal locomotive engineers to start or stop trains when connecting and disconnecting cars
  • Set flares, flags, lanterns, or torpedoes in front and at rear of trains during emergency stops to warn oncoming trains
  • Inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and handbrakes to make sure they are securely fastened and working properly
  • Climb ladders to tops of cars to set brakes
  • Watch for signals from other crew members so work can be coordinated
  • Receive oral or written yardmasters instructions that indicate track assignments and cars to be switched
  • Pull or push track switches to reroute railroad cars

Number of Jobs

Average Annual
Job Growth +0.1%
Job Opening 18

Job Listings

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Education & Training

  • Education

    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
    Associated Programs or Majors
    • NA
Private Training Programs

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