Railroad Jobs in Montana - Billings, Butte, Laurel

The state of Montana, also called Big Sky Country deserves every right to be called so, the state sceneries are absolutely amazing.

Montana’s railroad history began in the year of 1881, when Northern Pacific Railroad reached the state from the west. As in many places around the world, the railroads opened the state for business and travel.

Today, the state of Montana employs over 2,400 railroad workers operating on over 3,100 miles of track, which gives you a decent chance to find a railroad job in Montana.

Before we dive into Montana’s railroads section, where I’ll list all the potential employers in the state, let’s take a quick look at what’s behind the state economy and what effect it has on the railroad industry.

The state of Montana has a quite diverse economy, with sectors ranging from lumber and mineral extraction such as gold, silver, talc to tourism and beer production, yes, Montana is ranked the 3rd in the nation in number of craft breweries per capita, according to this source. As you might have thought, some of the above mentioned economic sectors are dependent on railroads, in a bigger or smaller measure.

So where can I find railroad jobs in Montana?

The state of Montana is the home of two (2) Class Is freight railroads, which are BNSF Railway and Union Pacific. These Class Is offer the best salaries and benefits packages, so you may want to start with them. Of course working for a Class Is will require you to be open for a flexible schedule, which includes working any day of the week, including holidays. I mentioned in many parts of the website that this might not be easy, especially if you have a family. I also recommend you to read the best railroads to work for.

If you are not interested in working for a Class Is, or perhaps you want to be home everything, which is not a guarantee, you may want to look into the regional (Class II) or shortline and terminal railroads (Class III) in the state. These companies will offer railroad jobs as well, so I suggest you contact them directly.

railroad jobs in montana bnsf

There is one Class II employer offering railroad jobs in Montana:

The Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western Railroad (reporting mark DMVW) operates over 520 miles, they are in business since 1990 and this is their official website where you can apply for a job

Let’s keep going with the third category, which is Class III or Shortline & Terminal Railroads that might offer railroad jobs in the state of Montana.

Montana’s Shortline & Terminal Lines are as following:

The Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway (reporting mark BAP) operates a total of 63 miles of track running from Anaconda, Montana, to Butte, Montana.

Central Montana Rail, Inc. also known as CM operates in three counties within the state, Judith Basin, Fergus, and Chouteau on approximately 84.2 miles of track.

The Mission Mountain Railroad (reporting mark MMT) is a Watco subsidiary, it has operated in northwestern Montana since 2004. MMT serves several lumber facilities and a grain elevator in Kalispell and also operates 26 miles of track between Stryker, Trego, Fortine, and Eureka.

The Yellowstone Valley Railroad also known as YVSR, operates in northeastern Montana, also crossing into North Dakota. It began its operation in 2005 on a 171 miles track, today operating two branch lines, Snowden to Glendive and Bainville to Scobey.

These are all the Class III operators that might hire, I suggest you check with them to see if and what positions they have available.

AmTrak might offer railroad jobs in Montana.

You might also be interested in a passenger train career, AmTrak has few stations throughout the state, so you should check with them as well.

In conclusion, the chances for you to get hired are good, now depends what position you aspire to get. According to BLS.gov, as of May 2019, the average annual salary for a locomotive engineer in the state has been $75,260 or $36.18 per hour, where 90% of the engineers earn $97,550 and about 10% earn $51,700.

Montana railroad industry hires train conductors, locomotive engineers, dispatchers, yardmasters and few more occupations. If you want to read more I suggest to start with differences between a conductor and an engineer and highest salaries in the railroad industry.

I hope this article is helpful for you, please let me know in the comments.

Good Luck!

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