Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Railway ticket collectors, or passenger conductors, review and collect all travel documentation from passengers on a train. Conductors also make sure passengers adhere to safety rules, assist passengers with luggage compartments and may also collect and track revenue from on-board ticket purchases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of rail transportation workers is about $36,000.
Individuals employed in the rail transportation support industry earn an average of $36,280 per year. This equates to an hourly rate of $17.44 when factored out over a 40-hour work week before the deduction of taxes and benefits. Entry-level positions and those in the lowest earnings percentile of the occupational category earn a reported $14.21 per hour, or $29,550 annually. These figures echo 2011 figures from Amtrak that state that passenger conductor trainees start at $15.75 per hour.
Factors Affecting Salary
The major factors affecting the salary rates of railway passenger conductors are the types of routes they work on and the type of railway that employs them. Private rail transportation companies tend to offer higher hourly rates than both urban transit systems and state and locally run transit systems. While many rail transportation workers work more than 40 hours per week, mandatory rest hours are enforced by federally regulations.
Salary By State
New Jersey leads all states in the annual mean wage of rail transportation workers. Workers employed by this occupation in New Jersey earn an hourly mean wage of $26.21 per hour, or $54,510 per year. The Chicago metro area leads cities in annual mean wage for workers in this occupational category, offering average hourly rate of $24.91 per hour, or $51,810 per year before deductions.
Relevant Background and Skills
Aspiring railway passenger conductors must posses a high school diploma or GED. Previous customer service experience is also a plus, as is the ability to make cash calculations quickly and accurately. Physical demands of the job include the ability to stand for long hours, handle luggage and the dexterity to travel in between cars and on and off platforms at a quick pace. Excellent interpersonal communication skills are also a must for the position, given the frequency of interactions with clients.