Train Conductor Salary - AmTrak, Union Pacific, BNSF Railway and CSX Transportation

Railroad workers are the people who keep the trains up and running. The rail conductors are, unquestionable, one of them.

Let's take a closer look at a train conductor salary, how much a railroad conductor makes by state/company and the geographic profile for this occupation.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, their direct involvement it's critical for the entire rail transportation industry's well being.

train conductor salary
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If you have read the train conductor job description, I am sure you have realized that being a conductor it’s not as easy as many people think.

Many conductors, railroad workers in general, have to work on a flexible schedule, which require you to be ready for a shift anytime, making it quite tough especially if you have a family. Of course, the career will have many advantages as well, great pay and benefits are expected, especially from a Class I railroad, which translates into a good financial stability for your household which it’s very important, this job can accomplish that.

The Class I railroad industry in the United States it's represented by companies like AmTrak, Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Canadian Pacific Railway, Norfolk Southern and Canadian National Railway. Read also best railroads to work for.

Combined these companies operate over 20,000 locomotives and employ over 230,000 railroad workers, out of which, according to the same source, as of May 2019, over 45,700 are railroad conductors and yardmasters.

Most of the train conductors and yardmasters are employed in New York followed by Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Ohio and Indiana.

The top paying salaries for train conductors and yardmasters are in Wyoming, recommended read railroad job in Wyoming, with an annual mean pay of $77,080, which is $3,700 over what a conductors or a yardmaster makes in California.

I think it will be useful to you having the entire railroad conductor and yardmaster salary list presented in a table. I have compiled this table with data I found at BLS.gov. The salaries are sorted descending, started with the highest paid state to the lowest one.

Wyoming - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $51,110
  • 25%: $60,100
  • 50%: $76,530
  • 75%: $95,830
  • 90%: $105,930
  • Annual Mean Salary: $77,080
  • Hourly Salary: $37.06
Massachusetts - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $49,070
  • 25%: $58,790
  • 50%: $73,420
  • 75%: $96,110
  • 90%: $108,430
  • Annual Mean Salary: $76,370
  • Hourly Salary: $36.72
New Jersey - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $55,420
  • 25%: $65,240
  • 50%: $75,090
  • 75%: $86,130
  • 90%: $99,860
  • Annual Mean Salary: $75,330
  • Hourly Salary: $36.22
Maryland - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $51,500
  • 25%: $58,820
  • 50%: $69,050
  • 75%: $94,070
  • 90%: $104,030
  • Annual Mean Salary: $74,660
  • Hourly Salary: $35.90
California - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $52,890
  • 25%: $63,890
  • 50%: $72,010
  • 75%: $79,800
  • 90%: $100,730
  • Annual Mean Salary: $73,380
  • Hourly Salary: $35.28
New York - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $48,460
  • 25%: $56,280
  • 50%: $64,610
  • 75%: $84,360
  • 90%: $100,050
  • Annual Mean Salary: $69,250
  • Hourly Salary: $33.29
Washington State - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $43,210
  • 25%: $58,810
  • 50%: $70,630
  • 75%: $80,460
  • 90%: $89,790
  • Annual Mean Salary: $69,210
  • Hourly Salary: $33.27
Missouri - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $48,700
  • 25%: $58,230
  • 50%: $68,340
  • 75%: $77,930
  • 90%: $93,240
  • Annual Mean Salary: $68,980
  • Hourly Salary: $33.16
New Mexico - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $47,480
  • 25%: $56,530
  • 50%: $65,670
  • 75%: $79,230
  • 90%: $98,100
  • Annual Mean Salary: $68,610
  • Hourly Salary: $32.99
Pennsylvania - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $45,510
  • 25%: $53,880
  • 50%: $65,520
  • 75%: $80,900
  • 90%: $98,590
  • Annual Mean Salary: $68,180
  • Hourly Salary: $32.78
Kansas - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $39,480
  • 25%: $49,240
  • 50%: $69,260
  • 75%: $83,180
  • 90%: $100,030
  • Annual Mean Salary: $67,840
  • Hourly Salary: $32.62
Ohio - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $42,770
  • 25%: $50,830
  • 50%: $62,510
  • 75%: $88,101
  • 90%: $101,300
  • Annual Mean Salary: $67,570
  • Hourly Salary: $32.49
Nebraska - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $48,960
  • 25%: $58,710
  • 50%: $68,360
  • 75%: $75,960
  • 90%: $84,180
  • Annual Mean Salary: $67,490
  • Hourly Salary: $32.45
Wisconsin - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $43,240
  • 25%: $51,020
  • 50%: $63,040
  • 75%: $83,700
  • 90%: $100,270
  • Annual Mean Salary: $67,030
  • Hourly Salary: $32.24
Montana - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $49,100
  • 25%: $58,550
  • 50%: $68,030
  • 75%: $75,260
  • 90%: $79,600
  • Annual Mean Salary: $66,330
  • Hourly Salary: $31.89
Michigan - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $45,180
  • 25%: $53,760
  • 50%: $64,780
  • 75%: $77,210
  • 90%: $90,190
  • Annual Mean Salary: $65,910
  • Hourly Salary: $31.69
Arkansas - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $45,230
  • 25%: $53,840
  • 50%: $64,430
  • 75%: $77,030
  • 90%: $84,910
  • Annual Mean Salary: $65,270
  • Hourly Salary: $31.38
Florida - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $51,470
  • 25%: $55,770
  • 50%: $62,880
  • 75%: $74,840
  • 90%: $84,250
  • Annual Mean Salary: $65,170
  • Hourly Salary: $32.33
South Carolina - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $45,560
  • 25%: $56,270
  • 50%: $66,500
  • 75%: $74,700
  • 90%: $79,720
  • Annual Mean Salary: $65,240
  • Hourly Salary: $31.37
Oklahoma- Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $43,020
  • 25%: $53,860
  • 50%: $66,580
  • 75%: $75,380
  • 90%: $83,520
  • Annual Mean Salary: $64,800
  • Hourly Salary: $31.5
Georgia - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $43,120
  • 25%: $53,880
  • 50%: $66,330
  • 75%: $75,980
  • 90%: $82,370
  • Annual Mean Salary: $64,730
  • Hourly Salary: $31.12
Maine - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $47,640
  • 25%: $56,020
  • 50%: $65,260
  • 75%: $75,340
  • 90%: $81,540
  • Annual Mean Salary: $64,660
  • Hourly Salary: $31.08
South Dakota - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $41,690
  • 25%: $51,480
  • 50%: $59,680
  • 75%: $69,920
  • 90%: $82,350
  • Annual Mean Salary: $60,400
  • Hourly Salary: $29.04
Alabama - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $38,610
  • 25%: $45,830
  • 50%: $57,840
  • 75%: $71,490
  • 90%: $81,380
  • Annual Mean Salary: $58,920
  • Hourly Salary: $28.33
North Carolina - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $40,800
  • 25%: $49,770
  • 50%: $57,480
  • 75%: $63,670
  • 90%: $73,440
  • Annual Mean Salary: $57,390
  • Hourly Salary: $27.59
Arizona - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $41,730
  • 25%: $45,740
  • 50%: $52,070
  • 75%: $71,170
  • 90%: $82,190
  • Annual Mean Salary: $57,390
  • Hourly Salary: $27.59
West Virginia - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $43,290
  • 25%: $48,570
  • 50%: $56,080
  • 75%: $62,640
  • 90%: $77,250
  • Annual Mean Salary: $57,930
  • Hourly Salary: $27.85
Idaho - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $38,280
  • 25%: $44,390
  • 50%: $53,710
  • 75%: $67,440
  • 90%: $82,260
  • Annual Mean Salary: $56,980
  • Hourly Salary: $27.39
Utah - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $37,150
  • 25%: $43,270
  • 50%: $52,530
  • 75%: $64,410
  • 90%: $85,460
  • Annual Mean Salary: $56,170
  • Hourly Salary: $27.01
Kentucky - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $39,690
  • 25%: $46,270
  • 50%: $53,420
  • 75%: $61,230
  • 90%: $66,440
  • Annual Mean Salary: $53,710
  • Hourly Salary: $25.82
Colorado - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $34,700
  • 25%: $39,840
  • 50%: $47,440
  • 75%: $57,430
  • 90%: $70,980
  • Annual Mean Salary: $49,380
  • Hourly Salary: $23.84
New Hampshire - Conductor and Yardmaster Salary
  • 10%: $22,970
  • 25%: $36,020
  • 50%: $42,970
  • 75%: $49,360
  • 90%: $57,840
  • Annual Mean Salary: $42,350
  • Hourly Salary: $20.36

As you see, there is an approximately $35,000 difference in how much a train conductor / yardmaster makes in the Wyoming vs. New Hampshire.

For in detail train conductor requirements, salaries by state, employment opportunities, please use the map below, and select your state.

The salary of a train conductor is mostly determined under union contract and it will fluctuate depending on your location, the railroad you choose to work for and your experience. Same applies for a yardmaster salary.

Let's take a quick look at BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad and CSX Transportation freight train conductor salary as well as the passenger train conductor salary at AmTrak.

Train conductor salary - BNSF Railway

train conductor salary bnsf

BNSF Railway has a long history and well deserved spot in the railroad industry. They operate one of the largest railroad companies in the world. With over 40,000 workers they help power, feed and clothe millions of Americans daily. As of today they operate in 28 states in the United States and three Canadian provinces, on over 32,500 miles of track.

As you can expect, BNSF Railway offers a great salary for a train conductor, as well as benefits and retirement plans. You can take a look here for a detailed benefits list. Note, the benefits might differ for each occupation.

So how much does a train conductor at BNSF make per hour?
The average hourly rate for a conductor at BNSF is about $38 - $40, of course as I mentioned above, the salary fluctuates by state and your experience. For a more accurate number, please contact the railroad with the specific details of your situation.
..and how much does a train conductor at BNSF make per year?
I took the data from two sources, GlassDoor.com and PayScale.com According to GlassDoor.com, an average BNSF Railway train conductor salary would be $75,000/year. PayScale.com says that the average salary is $90,000, ranging from $65,000 to $120,000.

Train conductor salary - Union Pacific

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Union Pacific is serving customers and communities for over 155 years. It was founded on July 1, 1862 when President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway ACT. They hire over 37,000 people and they as well offer great pay and benefits.

According to their website they offer benefits like Wellness Program, Health Programs, Retirement and Financial Planning and more.

So how much does a train conductor at Union Pacific make per hour?
The average hourly pay for a conductor at Union Pacific is between $35-$39, depending on your Union agreement, location and experience.
..and how much does a train conductor at Union Pacific make per year?
According to GlassDoor.com, an average Union Pacific railroad conductor salary would be $70,000/year, the website PayScale.com mentions that a conductor is expected to earn between $40,000 and $101,000 working for Union Pacific.

Train conductor salary - AmTrak

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AmTrak has operated since May 1st, 1971. The railroad operates passenger cars, they’re employing over 20,000 people and have a revenue of $3.4 billion dollars. Over 85,000 people take a ride in over 300 trains daily.
The train conductor salary at AmTrak will be lower than the ones found working for the freight railroads. Mostly because of the job duties, which first, doesn’t require you to be outside, heavy-lifting, as much as working for a freight railroad. Even so, AmTrak offers great benefits for their conductors, and a salary that might be considered competitive.

So how much does a train conductor at AmTrak make per hour?

The average hourly rate for a conductor at AmTrak is between $27-$38, depending on the location and your experience.

..and how much does a train conductor at AmTrak make per year?

According to GlassDoor.com, an average AmTrak train conductor salary would be between $60,000 - $72,000/year.

Train conductor salary - CSX Transportation

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CSX Transportation serves 23 states and is employing over 24,000 people. According to their website, about 3,700 veterans, first responders, active duty military are working or they worked for CSX Transportation.
They as well, provide a competitive salary and a great list of benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, parental leave etc. For a complete list of benefits visit this link. Note, the benefits might differ depending of your occupation.

So how much does a train conductor at CSX Transportation make per hour?

The average hourly rate for a conductor at CSX Transportation is between $29 and $40, as well as for the other railroads, your potential salary will fluctuate. Please call the railroad directly, with your specific details, for a more accurate number.

..and how much does a train conductor at AmTrak make per year?

According to GlassDoor, an average CSX Transportation train conductor salary would be between $65,000 -$90,000/year.

Train conductor salary MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the largest transportation network in North America, spread across 5,000 square-miles, serving New York City through Long Island, southeastern New York State and Connecticut.
The MTA network has the largest subway and commuter rail cars than all other U.S transit systems combined.
How much does an MTA train conductor make?
A railway conductor working for MTA is expected to perform the same duties as any conductor.

The MTA train conductor salary ranges between $60,000-$90,000/year plus benefits like health, vision and dental insurance with next to nothing deductible and a great pension plan. One of the pros of working as a conductor for MTA is that most of the work will be inside, compared to a freight conductor that has to perform duties outside.

How much does a train conductor make?

It seems that the average salary at BNSF Railway for a railroad conductor it's around $77,000/year, followed by Union Pacific with $73,000/year, AmTrak with $71,000/year and CSX Transportation $70,000/year.

Most railroad companies offer competitive benefit packages which may include paid time off such as sick days, life insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, retirement benefits, childcare benefits, long/short term disability insurance and more.
With a strong growth in the coal industry, the need for railroad workers is expected to grow over the next years.

In conclusion

I could say that the salary of the train conductor can sustain a decent lifestyle. If the pay won't satisfy you I suggest to look towards a higher position, like a locomotive engineer.
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