Norfolk Southern increases conductor trainee pay to $25 an hour

Trainees eligible for starting bonuses of up to $5,000 in priority locations

Norfolk Southern Corporation today announced that it has increased Conductor Trainee pay to $25 per hour, with a minimum of $200 in earnings per shift. Additionally, Conductor Trainees are eligible for an on-the-job training incentive of $300 per bi-weekly pay period, provided they make themselves available to work. Applicants can apply online at

“We are committed to ensuring our newest team members are well-compensated while they work toward qualifying as conductors,” said Brad Dodd, Director Talent Acquisition at Norfolk Southern. “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.”

Conductor trainees in priority locations have the opportunity to earn up to $5,000 in starting bonuses. Conductor trainees at the company’s other locations can earn up to $2,500 in starting bonuses. Priority locations include:

  • 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

In their first year, Norfolk Southern conductors earn an average of $67,000, and have the potential to earn more each year as they increase in levels of seniority. They also participate in the Railroad Retirement System and have a 401(k) savings option, best-in-class healthcare coverage, all in addition to other competitive benefits.

Norfolk Southern conductors are responsible for the safe and efficient movement of freight trains. A conductor’s job can include coupling railcars to build trains, delivering railcars to local customers, and transporting trains hundreds of miles. No prior railroad experience is required, applicants only need to be 18 years of age, successfully complete a standard background check, and meet physical requirements.

“One of the clear benefits of our industry is the opportunity for future advancement and the potential for increased earnings,” added Dodd. “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.”

Norfolk Southern utilises a comprehensive training program for both conductors and locomotive engineers, consisting of classroom and field training. Successful completion of these programs is a requirement for employment. Conductor trainees should expect to complete a training program of approximately 16 weeks before promoting to a conductor position. The first three weeks of training occur at the Norfolk Southern Training Center in McDonough, Georgia. The remaining weeks of training take place at or near their hiring location. The company provides all the technical training and tools conductors need to be both safe and successful on the job.