Most NS employees work hourly positions in field operations. These skill and labor-intensive jobs are covered under collective bargaining agreements and require union membership after a probationary period.  Wages are paid on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis either weekly or biweekly, depending on location, position, and applicable labor agreement.

NS’ team-based environment emphasizes diversity, responsibility, creative problem solving, and recognition for a job well done.

Safety and service are our top priorities. Regardless of position, employees are expected to work with a focus on these priorities at all times.

NS regularly recruits the following positions:



Conductors are directly involved in 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. Conductors will operate locomotives when achieving promotion to Locomotive Engineer.


Signal Maintainers

Signal Maintainers are essential to the safe passage of trains. Successful signal maintainers utilize their knowledge of electronics/electrical systems to construct, test, and maintain wayside and crossing signals. A signal maintainer may start the shift by changing out light bulbs at a highway rail crossing, then perform scheduled maintenance near a rail side bungalow. The work shift may end after climbing a 45 foot tower to repair a malfunctioning signal.


Track Laborers

Track Laborers build and maintain track along NS’ extensive rail network. Track laborers’ duties can include using hydraulic tools and heavy machinery, working locally or as part of a traveling work group. A track laborer’s day may include inspecting their territory, maintaining switches, or installing new rail.



Electricians perform diagnostic and repair work on diesel-electric locomotives. This work includes using electrical schematic drawings to troubleshoot, repair and modify electrical circuits. An electrician’s day may include performing maintenance on a traction motor, installing new equipment on a locomotive, or quickly troubleshooting electrical problems to ensure our customers’ freight is delivered on time.


Mechanical Laborers

Mechanical Laborers perform routine maintenance and service of locomotives and facilities. In the shop, mechanical laborers operate, inspect and refuel locomotives. A mechanical laborer’s day may start with moving locomotives around the shop and ends preparing locomotives for the awaiting train.


Freight Car Repairers

Freight Car Repairers ensure the safe movement of railcars through the consistent inspection and maintenance of the railcars. Repairers start their day inspecting and testing railcars, and may end their day using welding equipment to make repairs in the field or a repair shop.



Train Dispatcher

Dispatchers direct the safe movement of trains throughout their specific territory. A dispatcher’s day involves using constant radio communication and state-of-the-art technology from the dispatching command center to safely and efficiently direct the movement of trains.



Diesel Mechanics

Machinists repair diesel-electric locomotive mechanical systems, including diesel engines, air brakes, and running gear. Those with experience in welding, hydraulics, and equipment maintenance are well-suited for this position. Limited use of machine tools makes these positions more mechanic-oriented.

























Rail is the most fuel efficient way to transport goods over land. Norfolk Southern’s commitment to the environment doesn’t just stop there. To learn more about NS’s sustainability efforts, go to

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