A Yard Foreman's Job Description

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A Yard Foreman's Job Description
A yard foreman helps direct train traffic within the rail yard. (railroad image by Sergey Mikhalev from Fotolia.com)

Yard foremen are part of a team of professionals who ensure that freight trains are directed safely and efficiently to and from their destinations. There are two types of yard foremen: yard foreman switcher and yard foreman industry switcher.

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Function

Yard foremen are freight conductors who are responsible for overseeing the movement of rail cars in and out of yards. Yard foremen switchers work closely with yardmasters to direct and track the assignments of inbound trains. Yard foremen industry switchers gather and transport rail cars to local industry customers, as well as return train cars to the yard for classification purposes.

Skills

Yard foremen must have good decision-making, writing and oral communication skills. Yard foremen must also be able to concentrate for long periods of time and work with basic computer applications such as e-mail.

Salary

The average hourly salary for a yard foreman in the United States was £8.40 to £11.5 per hour according to an August 2010 PayScale report. Average total pay for a yard foreman, including profit sharing, bonuses and commission, fell between £20,154 to £32,124 per year.

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