The Top 3 - Highest Paying Railroad Jobs

If you are interested in working in this industry, I am sure you've asked yourself, which are the highest paying railroad jobs?

Look no further, if you are familiar with, you know that I am here to answer any questions regarding this industry.

So is working for the railroad a good job?

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As of 2016, according to, railroad industry employed over 105,500 people, from which over 38,800 are locomotive engineers and 41,800 train conductors and yardmasters, let's check out which are the highest paid railway jobs.

Best paying railroad jobs

There are 5 big occupations in the railroad industry, their goal is common, to run their train, safe and within schedule.
In order to do so, you will be required to work closely with the other people, hired in different occupations.
It doesn't matter if you are an engineer, conductor, yardmaster, the job requires good communication between all the employees engaged in the train handling operation.
Each occupation has a clear list of duties and responsibilities, see train conductor vs engineer for more details.
Let's dive in and start to analyze each occupation and learn which are the 3 highest paying railroad jobs. Shouldn't we?

The engineer holds the number one position

Does the railroad pay good? As you probably guessed, the title for the highest paying railroad jobs is held by locomotive engineers with an average salary of $60,990 as of May 2017 according to this source.

However according to over 280 salaries reported on , the average salary for the locomotive engineer as of February 26, 2019, is $88,680 and from my experience and insight this goes up to $120,000/year plus benefits.

We have seen salaries as low as $58,000 and as high as $122,000, mostly depending on the individual experience and the company you choose to work, I need to mention that Class Is pays the top dollar and they have the greatest benefits.

Read the detailed article about the locomotive engineer salary.

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The highest number of best paying railroad jobs will be in Ohio

The state of Ohio hires over 2,580 railroad workers, followed by Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri, check out railroad jobs in Illinois. If you are wondering what is the difference between a train conductor and an engineer, you can rest assured, I have the answer thoroughly put together for you!

The second best paid railroad occupation

Second highest paid occupation in the railroad industry is held by the locomotive firers, also called locomotive engineer assistant, their job duties include but are not limited at monitoring the locomotive instruments, being ready to operate locomotives in emergency situations, inspect locomotives for any damages, observe tracks to detect any potential obstructions or hazardous objects.
According to the same source, as of 2016, there are around 1,200 such employees, with an median pay of $60,360. This occupation holds only 0.26% of total railroad industry employment, but is the second best paid.

Train conductor and yardmaster is the third best paid position

The third occupation sorted by the average annual pay is the railroad conductors aka train conductors and yardmasters, with average annual pay of $60,300, which is just $60 less than the second highest paid railroad occupation, read more about a train conductor salary.

While the salary is quite the same, the duties each occupation has are very different. What does a train conductor do article should give you the insight needed.

According to, the largest employment numbers for this occupation are found in Texas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

In conclusion, the top 3 highest paying railroad jobs are locomotive engineers, locomotive engineer assistants, train conductors, and yardmasters.

While choosing a well paid occupation is very important, doing what you love shouldn't be different.

Do railroad workers make good money? Does the railroad pay good?

The answer is: Yes and Yes. As you've learned the railroad workers make great money ranging between $50,000-$140,000/year.

If you already know your job title, looking at the best railroad to work for would be next.

I believe that holding any of these three job titles would make you friends jealous, or maybe not? I guess depends if they share the same love for trains as you do!

Leaving the joke aside, I hope this article answer your questions, don't forget to leave your comment, any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Looking for a railroad job? Check out the map below!