The clerical sector has long been an important part of any railroad, performing several day-to-day office tasks in keeping the trains moving. CSX lists these job titles within the field; Crew Dispatcher (tasked with assigning crews their specific train), Field Clerk (transport crews to their trains if needed, perform janitorial service, and carry out other duties as requested); Jacksonville Clerk (working from the main CSX office you will perform typical office support tasks); Janitor Messenger (general janitorial services and related duties); Purchasing/Materials Clerk (perform inventory duties by keeping such stocked, resupplied, and maintained as needed); and Stevedore (this unique job requires operating new vehicles on and off autoracks, rail cars which transport automobiles).
The corporate level of any large company can be a stressful and a hectic career choice. However, it can also be very rewarding if you enjoy such a fast-paced work environment and general the tasks of business development. Today, most corporate positions require some form of college education and/or previous work in the field. CSX lists the following opportunities within this sector: Administrative; Aviation; Communication & Public Affairs; Customer Service; Engineering; Finance And Accounting; Human Resources; Information Technology; Intermodal Operations & Support; Labor Relations; Leadership Development Programs; Legal; Management Training; Mechanical Operations; Operations Planning/Logistics; Operations Safety; Process Improvement; Public Safety & Risk Management; Real Estate; Sales, Marketing & Services, and Transportation Operations & Support.
This sector should not be confused with the train crew position of engineer, the person responsible for the locomotive and train's safe operation between two points. The Engineering field in this instance refers to the railroad's infrastructure and maintaining it to proper standards. CSX lists several job titles within this field including; Assistant Signal Worker/Construction. Assistant Signal Worker (Maintenance/Construction), Bridge Mechanic, Bridge Tender, Communications Maintainer, Electronic Signal Specialist, Heavy Equipment Operator, Road Electrician, Roadway Mechanic, Sheet Metal Worker, Track Worker, and Welder Helper.
A type of freight nearly unheard of just a few generations ago, today intermodal comprises a very important revenue component for the seven major Class I's as well as some smaller railroads. The term intermodal describes freight transported within either international shipping containers or over-the-road truck trailers. The industry has even constructed special freight cars to efficiently transport these devices including spine cars (trailers) and well cars (containers). CSX lists the following positions within the intermodal field including Chief Yardmaster (a great deal of responsibility is required for this role whereby you will oversee the daily, safe operations of the yard and that trains are originating and leaving with the correct lading), Assistant Yardmaster, Intermodal Service Worker, and Service Representative.
If you are working towards a four-year college degree and are interested in a railroad internship, CSX offers a robust program. You will work during the summer months at company headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. According to CSX, the following departments are open to potential interns; Finance, Controller’s Group, Properties Group, Information Technology (IT), Public Affairs/Legal (Law),, Corporate Communications, Network Modeling, Sales/Marketing, Operations, Corporate Citizenship, Human Resources. Labor Relations. Procurement & Supply Chain, and Intermodal.
Management Training/Leadership Development Programs
At all levels of a corporation, railroad or otherwise, management positions are required to lead the company forward and oversee the efficient operations of various departments. According to CSX it has leadership and management training programs within the following fields: Transportation, Engineering, Mechanical, Intermodal, Customer Service/Network Operations, Controller's Group, Finance, Sales/Marketing, Information Technology (IT), Purchasing, and its Police Department.
All railroads need an experienced and well-qualified team of mechanics and related personnel to keep their fleets of locomotives and rolling stock in service. If you are interested in this area many are part of a labor union. According to CSX it hires the following positions in this field; Boilermaker, Carman, Diesel Mechanic/Coal Pier, Pier Technician, Sheet Metal Worker/Pipefitter, Toledo Dock Electrician, and Utility Worker.
The sector with which most are familiar, "Transportation" involves the operation and handling of trains. Freight conductor is the entry level position and your responsibilities entail knowing what your train carries, where it's going, and that it safely arrives at its destination. The conductor is the ultimate authority on the train although the engineer is the senior position, attained only after one has spent a great deal of time as the former. Today, most Class I's carry dual-qualified crews for redundancy and safety. Other positions within the transportation field include longshoremen and train dispatchers.
Some final thoughts regarding working within the railroad industry, especially if you are interested in the transportation or maintenance fields. A career in the railroad industry can be quite tough, especially if you ever have or plan to have a family as you will spend many hours away from home. While the physical challenges of the job still hold true to some extent perhaps the toughest part of it all is fatigue and simply being away from home so much. Of course, there are also plenty of positives by working in the industry including great pay, excellent benefits, and a very nice retirement. It will be up to you to decide whether the benefits of working for the railroad outweigh the negative aspects and if a career in the industry suits you. Finally, if you are a military veteran and think you may be interested in a railroading career please visit CSX's careers page. The industry has long been known for its friendly stance towards hiring those from the military branches.
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CSX Transportation Careers