Conductors are generally responsible for interpreting the composition to reflect the set demonstration in that composition, setting the rhythm, making sure of the precise entries, and creating the proper phrasing. They communicate with their musicians fundamentally through hand gestures with the use of a baton and may use other signals like eye contact. Also, they routinely augment their direction with a verbal command to their musicians in rehearsal. Additionally, they act as guides to the orchestra, choose the work they're supposed to present and studying the composition, formulate their interpretation, and attend to organizational matters.

Conductor Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real conductor resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Provide excellent leadership by training new conductors in railroad rules and regulations, while simultaneously managing the train yard.
  • Manage all commodities, crew, safety, and efficient delivery of each assign train and while following strict FRA guidelines.
  • Review and verify the train paperwork and train lists are accurate and in accordance with HAZMAT and other federal regulations.
  • Claim ladders to tops of cars to set brakes, make minor repairs to couplings air hoses, using have tools.
  • Qualify RCL operator and instructor.
  • Service customers including Paxon, Rhodia and Exxon.
  • Ensure the safe movement and positioning of HAZMAT containers.
  • Use lanterns to give signals to employees governing movement of the train.
  • Operate locomotive equipment with and without the use of a RCO device.
  • Climb and hang on ladders on side of cars and apply and release brakes
  • Communicate with engineers and other staff using lanterns, arm signals, or radio.
  • Receive oral or written instructions from yardmasters or yard conductors indicating track assignments and cars to be switch.
  • Train and educate new and experience rail transportation employees on CSX operational rules, safety and best practices.
  • Work to meet and exceed transportation and safety goals within specify time frames according to senior management and CSX company goals.
  • Maintain positive relationships with external partners through an understanding of FRA regulations.

Conductor Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 28% of Conductors are proficient in Switches, Electrical Connections, and Locomotives. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Customer-service skills, and Hand-eye coordination.

We break down the percentage of Conductors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Switches, 28%

    Couple and uncouple cars, operate switches and make repairs to include replacing heavy couplings or air brake hoses.

  • Electrical Connections, 16%

    Couple air and electrical connections between locomotives, tie manual hand breaks when needed.

  • Locomotives, 14%

    Performed hostler operations of operating locomotives between various shop locations, service tracks and switching areas.

  • Conductors, 7%

    Implemented and directed training program, coaching more than 200 new hire conductors on train operating rules and procedures.

  • FRA, 6%

    Maintained positive relationships with external partners through an understanding of FRA regulations.

  • Field Training, 6%

    Provided on the job field training to new hire Conductor candidates during all phases of training.

Most conductors list "switches," "electrical connections," and "locomotives" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important conductor responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a conductor to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "all rail employees have to be able to communicate effectively with other crewmembers and passengers to keep the trains on schedule." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that conductors can use communication skills to "have the ability to perform proper bnsf radio communication. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many conductor duties rely on customer-service skills. This example from a conductor explains why: "conductors on passenger trains ensure customers’ comfort, make announcements, and answer any travel questions a passenger has." This resume example is just one of many ways conductors are able to utilize customer-service skills: "switched storage cars, spotted customer cars, determined train sequence for interchanges and communicated with bnsf at interchange point. "
  • Hand-eye coordination is also an important skill for conductors to have. This example of how conductors use this skill comes from a conductor resume, "locomotive engineers have to operate various controls while staying aware of their surroundings." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "organize and assemble trains in train yard - comply with federal rules and regulations in coordination with safe train handling"
  • A conductor responsibilities sometimes require "hearing ability." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "to show that they can hear warning signals and communicate with other employees, locomotive engineers have to pass a hearing test conducted by their rail company." This resume example shows how this skill is used by conductors: "conducted internal investigations and acted as charging officer during disciplinary hearings. "
  • Yet another important skill that a conductor must demonstrate is "leadership skills." On some trains, a conductor directs a crew This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a conductor who stated: "provided excellent leadership by training new conductors in railroad rules and regulations, while simultaneously managing the train yard. "
  • While "mechanical skills" is listed last on this skills list, don't underestimate its importance to conductor responsibilities. The skill is described by this resume snippet, "all rail employees work with complex machines" Here is an example of how this skill is used, "integrated electro-mechanical components such as displays, switches, cables and connectors. "
  • See the full list of conductor skills.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious conductors are:

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    What Switchmans Do

    The job of a switchman is to operate the track switches for railroads. Your day-to-day duties typically include operating the brakes and switches, attaching and detaching freight cars, and conducting a routine inspection of important train parts. Additionally, you will be responsible for visually checking the conditions of switches, and relaying radio, arm, and lantern signals that affect train movement. A switchman typically gets and follow instructions from the freight operator, and may be required to assist in setting train brakes and adding or removing cars.

    We looked at the average conductor annual salary and compared it with the average of a switchman. Generally speaking, switchmen receive $1,547 lower pay than conductors per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both conductors and switchmen positions are skilled in switches, electrical connections, and locomotives.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a conductor responsibilities require skills like "conductors," "basic math," "field training," and "math." Meanwhile a typical switchman has skills in areas such as "ladders," "rail cars," "air hoses," and "track switches." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    The education levels that switchmen earn is a bit different than that of conductors. In particular, switchmen are 4.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a conductor. Additionally, they're 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Trainman?

    Next up, we have the trainman profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a conductor annual salary. In fact, trainmen salary difference is $2,640 lower than the salary of conductors per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of conductors and trainmen are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "switches," "locomotives," and "fra. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real conductor resumes. While conductor responsibilities can utilize skills like "electrical connections," "conductors," "basic math," and "field training," some trainmen use skills like "rail cars," "safety rules," "equipment inspections," and "customer service."

    In general, trainmen study at similar levels of education than conductors. They're 1.6% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Trains Dispatcher Supervisor Compares

    The trains dispatcher supervisor profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of conductors. The difference in salaries is trains dispatcher supervisors making $15,329 lower than conductors.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from conductor resumes include skills like "switches," "electrical connections," "locomotives," and "conductors," whereas a trains dispatcher supervisor might be skilled in "customer service," "emergency situations," "dot," and "assist safety. "

    When it comes to education, trains dispatcher supervisors tend to earn similar education levels than conductors. In fact, they're 2.9% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Railroad Dispatcher

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than conductors. On average, railroad dispatchers earn a difference of $19,186 lower per year.

    While both conductors and railroad dispatchers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like locomotives, conductors, and federal safety rules, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "switches," "electrical connections," "basic math," and "fra," which might show up on a conductor resume. Whereas railroad dispatcher might include skills like "safety regulations," "train crews," "emergency situations," and "traffic control."

    The average resume of railroad dispatchers showed that they earn lower levels of education to conductors. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 5.6% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.6%.

    What a Conductor Does FAQs

    Train Engineer Vs. Conductor

    A train engineer is someone who operates passenger or freight trains, while a conductor is a railroad employee who coordinates the daily activities of a train crew.

    Train engineers, also known as locomotive engineers, generally travel long distances with locomotives or commuter trains. They monitor a train's speed, air pressure, and battery use to make sure a train is operating as efficiently as possible. They may also check a train's mechanical conditions and make maintenance and mechanical adjustments when necessary.

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