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Hourly Positions

Overview of hourly positions

Browse Hourly Positions

Most NS employees work in hourly positions. These skill-intensive jobs are covered under collective bargaining agreements and require union membership after a probationary period.

NS’ hourly employees are well-compensated. 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 is the number-one priority. Regardless of position, employees are expected to work with a “safety first” mentality.


Following are several positions for which NS regularly recruits:

Conductor Trainee

Conductor trainees operate track switches, couple cars, and work on freight trains in yard operations or on the road. This involves substantial travel and working outside in all weather conditions. Tasks require pulling, controlling, and climbing on and off equipment. Watch this video to learn more.

Crew Management Center Dispatcher

Crew management center dispatchers schedule locomotive engineers and conductors through the computerized calling system. Computer proficiency and speedy data entry skills are required. Six weeks of paid classroom and on-the-job training is required. Dispatchers work varied schedules during 24/7 operations and possess excellent communication skills.

Operations Service and Support Clerk

Operations service and support clerks perform administrative work involving customer and train crew communications. Clerks use a Windows-based computer system and are assigned to one of three shifts during 24/7 operations. Candidates must type 35 words per minute.


Pipefitters are involved in locomotive maintenance repairs and fabrication using pipe and sheet metal. Pipefitters operate various power tools, including pipe threading machines. Welding and brazing skills are recommended.


Machinists repair diesel-electric locomotive mechanical systems, including diesel engines, air brakes, and running gear. People 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.


NS electricians perform diagnostic and repair work to diesel-electric locomotives. Electricians are required to read electrical schematic drawings and use volt-ohm meters and current meters while troubleshooting circuits. Electricians may be assigned routine tasks for locomotive maintenance.


Boilermakers are responsible for oxy-fuel burning and electric arc welding performed in locomotive maintenance and wreck repairs. Experience in metal fabrication, print reading, and layout is helpful.

Freight Car Repairer

Freight car repair involves heavy industrial mechanical work such as maintenance, repair, and inspection of freight cars. These jobs often require outside, night shift, and weekend work in yards, shops, and road trucks. Experience in welding or mechanical repairs is preferred.

Signal Trainee

Signal trainees build and maintain railroad signal equipment. These jobs require outside work with considerable regional travel. Signal trainees must be 21 years old to obtain the required commercial driver’s license with airbrake endorsement. Preferred candidates have an electronics/electrical background or educational training in electronics.