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How to Become a Conductor for Amtrak

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Amtrak is a large passenger train company owned by the U.S. government. The conductor is responsible for collecting fares and tickets and helping guests, but also coordinates the crew and checks the freight cars. Certificate programs will boost your chances of getting hired by Amtrak, but you can apply as soon as you're 21 if you hold a high school diploma or have passed the General Educational Development, or GED, test.

Take classes in high school that focus on communications, electronics and computers. According to the CollegeBoard website, these courses will help you with your career as a conductor.

Complete a railroad conductor's certificate program. According to the website Education Portal, this is a five- or six-week program that focuses on rail safety and teaching the duties of a railroad conductor.

Visit the Amtrak website's application page. Fill out all sections of the electronic application. You have 30 minutes to complete the application so gather information about your work history and education before starting the application. The application will ask for your name, address, work and school history.

Take the aptitude test that Amtrak gives to all potential conductors. According to, this test consists of math and English questions. You will also have to take a drug test. Amtrak also checks for any criminal records.

Complete company training once your hired before you can become a full-fledged conductor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, training programs usually split time between the classroom and hands-on activities on trains and teach you company best practices. Training lasts from a few weeks to a few months.


Kristine Brite worked as a community journalist and public relations specialist before moving onto freelance writing. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Indiana University and has six years of professional writing experience.

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