Finding Your Path

The jobs for which NARS provides training are in demand throughout the industry, offer some of the highest entry-level salaries and best benefits in any industry, and often lead to promotions to supervisory and management positions.

Three popular paths for getting started in railroad work are through the following positions:


The conductors are responsible for supervising over-the-road operation of freight trains. They are in high demand throughout the railroad industry. The conductor’s job includes everything from inspecting equipment on cars prior to departures and maintaining compliance with all train orders, signals, and rules and regulations to working with customers in proper placement of cars at their locations. Held in a yard specifically designed for training purposes, the conductor lab contains actual locomotives and cars, which are used to practice switching operations, signaling, and safety procedures.

Locomotive Electrician and Diesel Engine Machinist

Mechanical personnel are responsible for keeping the locomotives is top running condition. There is a high demand for locomotive mechanical employees. They perform scheduled maintenance, repairs of faulty equipment and installation of new equipment. Mechanical employees ensure that railroads are able to move their freight efficiently and effectively.


Signal personnel are responsible for new construction or maintenance of a railroad’s signaling system. The signaling system is what keeps transportation personnel and the public safe. It allows trains to travel at faster speeds by indicating to the locomotive engineer what is ahead of him/her – whether it is another train, a broken rail, or a crew working on the tracks. To keep the motoring public safe, signal personnel are also responsible for ensuring that public-grade crossings are functioning properly.


This position can work in multiple departments in the rail industry. In the mechanical department, they are responsible to keep the cars and locomotives safe and free from hazards. In the engineering department, you may be cutting and removing sections of track or adding sections of track back into the rail, depending on the weather. This course will include classroom, lab and simulators as well as thermite, frog and switch point welding.

No matter which path you choose, we will ensure you learn the correct way to perform your new career. NARS makes teaching safe work practices a priority, because employees, who are properly trained, work safely. Find out what else you should know before beginning your career on the rails.


More Information

Is there any funding that will help pay for the railroad certificate programs?

“I started 2 weeks after I graduated.”

former student