Workers in railroad occupations ensure that passenger and freight trains safely run on time. They may drive trains, coordinate the activities of the trains, or operate signals and switches in the rail yard.
Railroad workers generally require a high school diploma or equivalent and several months of on-the-job training.
Overall employment of railroad workers is projected to decline 3 percent from 2019 to 2029. Decreasing demand for the transportation of bulk commodities, such as coal and oil, is expected to cause some railroads to reduce employment in an effort to become more efficient.
Nearly all locomotive engineers and conductors work in the rail transportation industry. This work may require working on nights and weekends as well as traveling for long periods of time. Conductors may also have to deal with unhappy customers at times.