Job Consideration?

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I'm probably posting this in the wrong forum (ya'll are certified train nuts...) but I came across a job offer from Norfolk Southern RR as a Conductor.. The training period is a paycut, but afterwards would be a slight raise over my current salary. Union dues and such would eat up the difference. I'd be eligible for promotion engineer in a year but im almost 100% positive it'd be 10x's that ...


Im kinda curious what everybody else thinks? I like my current job, but I've gone about as high in the company as I can, and have pretty much topped out in the pay scale. I would REALLY love to go back to college and get further edumacated....finish my B.S. Degree.

Going the back to school route would probably provide better $$ in the long run, and certainly less labor intensive (computer Science Degree) but working for the RR isnt something that everybody gets a chance to do..
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
I've seen posts on other forums where railroaders spelled out their "glamorous" jobs - long and uncertain hours, away from home a lot, working out in all kinds of weather, job stress, etc. The posts certainily eliminated most of the "glamour" in professional railroading. It is hard work, not a railfanning occupation. I'd suggest talking to existing railroaders to get a better feel of the railroad jobs.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Railphotog said:
I've seen posts on other forums where railroaders spelled out their "glamorous" jobs - long and uncertain hours, away from home a lot, working out in all kinds of weather, job stress, etc. The posts certainily eliminated most of the "glamour" in professional railroading. It is hard work, not a railfanning occupation. I'd suggest talking to existing railroaders to get a better feel of the railroad jobs.
Well, it would be a tough life. Think long hours, weekend/holiday work, always on call, etc. Still, for the right man (young and energetic) that loves trains, it could be great. From what I've heard (over the years), NS would not be my first choice as an employer. Have you looked at CSX? Also, what about short line roads in your area? There migh be some possibilities there. With them, you'd be home a lot more if that's important to you.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Any job is going to be work. What you have to ask yourself is whether it gets you closer to your life's mission or takes your further away. The answer to that question will determine how satisfying your job will be.
 

OldGettysk

Running the MC & Buffalo
I'm just adding my two cents for what it is worth. I had a old friend who worked on the railroad. He was in charge of a yard in Buffalo, New York. It was long hours and very stressful on him. Much so that he died from a heartattck which the doctor said was job related. So I would consider all aspects very carefully before I jimed in the waters. GoodLuck with whatever way you choose OLDGETTYSK
 
Thanks for the food for thought.. im used to being away from home for long periods, working weekends, nights, uncertainty of work, Ive been a Truck Driver since I was 18.
 
4Starcstms said:
I would REALLY love to go back to college and get further edumacated....finish my B.S. Degree.
I think you should do that regardless. Does the NS have some sort of employee education program that they would pay for the rest of your school? My current employer has paid for 3 (yes, three. about $200K worth) Masters Degrees for me.

Going the back to school route would probably provide better $$ in the long run, and certainly less labor intensive (computer Science Degree) but working for the RR isnt something that everybody gets a chance to do..
Is there some reason you could not work for the RR and continue your school. Do you already have a job for the computer science degree lined up? The computer field isn't like it was in the early 80s when everyone was so desparate for computer people they would hire anyone with a BS. Most of the entry level computer programming jobs have been contracted to India were experienced and very qualified people will work for a fraction of a US worker. My company doesn't even have a research facility anymore where us true computer science people worked. I haven't done any true computer science work for almost 5 years. Mostly now I just analyze "business requirements" to determine if they are implemetable on our current systems.
 

NWR #200

Irish Expatriate
I personally would.

My reasons:

I don't have to work in an office environment (Can't stand it)

My "office" has changing scenery. Even though you travel the same route, you still see something new.

Good retirement benefits and starting pay.

The uncertainty to me is what makes it interesting. Rather than going to another job, where you know what you'll be doing, the railroad will change constantly. One day your on a coal train, the next your working a local.

Plus, everyone has to stop to let YOU by...

Those are just why I would. I'm currently working on getting a job with BNSF, having been absent from the railroading for a few months...
 

railspike

New Member
work for the rr

If its in your heart to work for the rr, then do it.
If the bennies are good, do it.
If your family with you and supportive, then do it.
If it doesn't work out, then go on, but if you didn't go for it, you would never know.

I lost my job a few years ago, it was a good paying one with a co car and good bennies, found a job, alittle different, it did not work out.
I found a job, one of those big box home improvement companies, it is 10 minutes from home, bennies are ok, not making the pay that I was use to making, not the work that i wanted to do, have to work weekends and holidays and different hours, but reduced the stress level, not on the road.
If this didn't work out or found a much better paying, then I would leave.

So like said, go with your heart.
Good luck and hope it works out ok for you.
 




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