ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Norfolk Southern Corporation announced an increase in pay for conductor trainees, as well as starting bonuses, weekly incentives, and shift minimum pay on Thursday.

Norfolk Southern says railway conductor trainees will now receive $25 per hour with a minimum of $200 in earnings each shift. Trainees are also eligible for an on-the-job training incentive of $300 each bi-weekly pay period if they are available to work.

“We are committed to ensuring our newest team members are well-compensated while they work toward qualifying as conductors,” the director of talent acquisition at Norfolk Southern, Brad Dodd, said.

According to officials, Roanoke is one of the 12 priority locations where conductor trainees have the opportunity to earn up to $5,000 in starting bonuses compared to other locations where trainees can earn up to $2,500 in starting bonuses.

Norfolk Southern listed the following cities as priority locations:

  • Bellevue, Ohio
  • Binghamton, New York
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Conway, Pennsylvania
  • Decatur, Illinois
  • Elkhart, Indiana
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Peru, Indiana
  • Princeton, Indiana
  • Roanoke, Virginia

“Norfolk Southern is a great fit for those who want responsibility, autonomy, and take pride in the work they do. We offer competitive compensation, best-in-class healthcare benefits, technical training, and professional growth opportunities,” Dodd said.

Officials say Norfolk Southern conductors earn an average annual salary of $67,000 and have the potential to earn more every year as their seniority level increases. Conductors also participate in the Railroad Retirement System and have a 401(k) savings option, as well as health insurance and other competitive benefits.

“One of the clear benefits of our industry is the opportunity for future advancement and the potential for increased earnings,” Dodd said. “Through their seniority, conductors will be promoted to a locomotive engineer position that has guaranteed minimum annual pay of approximately $94,000, along with benefits. Many of our engineers earn more than $100,000 with the work opportunities at their locations.”

A conductor job with Norfolk Southern can include a variety of different things, such as building trains, delivering railcars to customers, and transporting trains hundreds of miles. The company says no prior railroad experience is required and that applicants only need to be 18 years old, pass a background check, and meet physical requirements.

All conductors and locomotive engineers complete a training program of 16 weeks before beginning their conductor position, according to officials. The first three weeks of training occur at the Norfolk Southern Training Center in McDonough, Georgia while the remainder of the training takes place at their hiring location.

The company reportedly provides all the training and tools conductors need to be successful and safe. To apply for a conductor position with Norfolk Southern, click here.