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Rail Careers are Worth Exploring

Rail careersDid you know that median wages for rail careers last year was $57,160?

I would guess that most people don’t know that. In fact, I have found that most people don’t know much about careers in transportation at all. As a former Air Traffic Controller myself, I have participated in the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) sponsored by the Department of Transportation, many times. The goal of the NSTI is to expand the awareness of secondary  school students, about careers across transportation, including rail careers.  Those NSTI sessions, often had panels or presentations with rail professionals and sometimes students would even have tours of transportation facilities.

That’s why we are excited that Canadian Pacific Rail is partnering with The HBCU Career Center to get the word out about rail careers.  Visit our job board and click the CP red bar to explore careers in both the US and Canada.

Some of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) that ran NSTI programs this year were:

Alabama State University

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Florida A & M University

Morgan State University

What does the Department of Labor say?

Although overall employment in rail careers is expected to decline by a small percentage over the next decade, there are 3 reasons to explore rail careers at this time:

i) Rail is not going away! Certain types of rail jobs might go away because of the advancement in rail technology, in the same way technology is impacting other industries.  In fact, the Department of Labor says that an increase in “intermodal freight-the shipment of goods through multiple transportation modes-may increase demand for some [types of] railroad workers.”

ii) The need for Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain experience is not going away or disappearing.  Just consider how online shopping has changed product delivery over the last several years.

iii) Baby boomers are retiring from the rail industry. This I know because I have heard it at NSTI events and from a colleague in my doctoral cohort who is doing his dissertation on exactly this subject.  With a 30-year career in the industry, he is researching how rail companies are ramping up on-the-job training programs, such as apprenticeships, for those interested in rail careers.

Hopefully, this post will help you expand your career and industry awareness around transportation options.  Find out more about rail careers here at the Department of Labor.

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