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Browse Operations


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.

NS’ operations employees are well-compensated and are offered a comprehensive benefits package. 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 operate track switches, couple cars, and work on freight trains in yard operations or on the road. This involves substantial travel and outdoor work in all weather conditions. Tasks require pulling, controlling, and climbing on and off equipment. Watch this video to learn more.

Train Dispatcher

Train Dispatchers are responsible for the safe and efficient movement of trains, railcars, and track equipment, as well as the safety and management of the crews who operate such equipment.

Track Laborer

Track laborers are responsible for building and maintaining NS’ track infrastructure, which includes pulling and driving spikes, replacing crossties and rail, and operating cutting-edge machinery.

Signal Maintainers

Signal maintainers build and maintain railroad signal equipment. These jobs require outside work with considerable regional travel. Signal maintainers 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.

Mechanical Laborers

Laborers, also known as Firemen & Oilers, conduct routine maintenance and service on facilities and locomotives, which includes checking oil, refueling, filling sand buckets, etc. Laborers also operate forklifts and other equipment, as required. This position is subject to working various shifts.  Often, laborers are afforded the opportunity to learn other mechanical crafts, such as pipefitters, machinists, electricians, and boilermakers.

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.


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. 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.


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.