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5 Express Train

Career Advice

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Good Morning!

 

I am a 22-year old young professional and I am extremely interested in becoming a train operator. I have been an advocate of public transportation since I was a small child and I really want to become a public servant. I know that this scenario has been played so many times on this forum but I am looking for some sound advice and answers to the following questions:

  • Is there any experience that I need to have to become a train operator (i.e. bus driver or subway conductor)?
  • Where and whom may I get accurate research on this goal?
  • How often does the civil service exam take place?
  • Generally how long does one have to wait to be called from the list of exam participants?
  • What are some things that I can do prepare myself for this occupation?

 

Thank You!

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Answers in red:

 

Good Morning!

 

I am a 22-year old young professional and I am extremely interested in becoming a train operator. I have been an advocate of public transportation since I was a small child and I really want to become a public servant. I know that this scenario has been played so many times on this forum but I am looking for some sound advice and answers to the following questions:

  • Is there any experience that I need to have to become a train operator (i.e. bus driver or subway conductor)?
     
    Varies, depending on the exam filing since the requirements can be changed for each new test. The most up to date info I can give you is the last test, 5 years of work experience and a high school diploma were required. For those with college, 30 college credits will fill 1 year of work experience, up to a maximum of 4 years - meaning that even with 4+ years of college you still need at least 1 year of work experience. Part time work experience is pro rated based on hours worked.
     
    Bus operator and conductor are different jobs than train operator. They have less stringent requirements. Conductor requires only a high school diploma. Bus operator requires a high school diploma and that you've had a NY driver's license for at least 3 years. Additionally, for bus operator, you must have either a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) Class B with passenger endorsement, OR a learner's permit for a CDL Class B with passenger endorsement.
     
    Again, these are the requirements for the tests the most recent time they were given...these requirements are subject to change.

 

  • Where and whom may I get accurate research on this goal?
     
    The next time there is an exam, look for the notice examination and read the eligibility requirements carefully.
  • How often does the civil service exam take place?
     
    Varies based on needs of the service, but approximately every 4-6 years.
  • Generally how long does one have to wait to be called from the list of exam participants?
     
    Varies based on how well you score, and what your list number is. It takes approximately one year to receive your score. It takes approximately 2-2.5 years to get called for the people who score best on open competitive exams. It takes about 5 years for the last open competitive people to be called before the list is terminated and a new list begun. People who don't score in the top 3000 for train operator and conductor are very commonly not called. I don't work in DOB so I'm not sure what the approximate cutoff is for bus operators. Again, these are guidelines, and not hard and fast rules...based only on what has happened on recent tests.
  • What are some things that I can do prepare myself for this occupation?
     
    Learn military time, practice reading comprehension, learn not to overthinking simple questions, and to follow directions to the letter. The civil service test is easy. But score a 100. 89 may be passing but it won't get you hired. Getting a single question wrong may mean another year's wait to get the job. The rest of the details of the job will be explained to you once you start, so don't worry about it now. If you can heed that advice and not worry about what's beyond your reach, you'll do fine in a career with Transit.

 

Thank You!

 

Edited by SubwayGuy

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