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Transit And Railroad Police Career

Career Description

Transit and Railroad Police protect and police railroad and transit property,  employees, or passengers.

Common Work Tasks

  • Patrol railroad yards, cars, stations, and other facilities to protect company property and shipments and to maintain order
  • Examine credentials of unauthorized persons attempting to enter secured areas
  • Apprehend or remove trespassers or thieves from railroad property, or coordinate with law enforcement agencies in apprehensions and removals
  • Prepare reports documenting investigation activities and results
  • Investigate or direct investigations of freight theft, suspicious damage or loss of passengers’ valuables, and other crimes on railroad property
  • Direct security activities at derailments,  fires, floods, and strikes involving railroad property
  • Direct and coordinate the daily activities and training of security staff
  • Interview neighbors, associates, and former employers of job applicants to verify personal references and to obtain work history data
  • Record and verify seal numbers from boxcars containing frequently pilfered items, such as cigarettes and liquor, to detect tampering
  • Plan and implement special safety and preventive programs, such as fire and accident prevention

Other Job Titles

Transit and Railroad Police are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Police Officers
  • Police Chiefs
  • Bailiffs
  • Correctional Officers

Education, Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  Applicants usually must have at least a high school education, and some departments require 1 or 2 years of college coursework or, in some cases, a college degree.

Law enforcement agencies encourage applicants to take courses or training related to law enforcement subjects after high school. Many entry-level applicants for police jobs have completed some formal postsecondary education, and a significant number are college graduates. Many junior colleges, colleges, and universities offer programs in law enforcement or administration of justice.

Physical education classes and participating in sports are also helpful in developing the competitiveness,  stamina, and agility needed for many law enforcement positions. Knowledge of a foreign language is an asset in many Federal agencies and urban departments.

  Candidates should enjoy working with people and meeting the public. Because personal characteristics such as honesty, sound judgment, integrity, and a sense of responsibility are especially important in law enforcement, candidates are interviewed by senior officers, and their character traits and backgrounds are investigated. In some agencies, candidates are interviewed by a psychiatrist or a psychologist or given a personality test. Most applicants are subjected to lie detector examinations or drug testing. Some agencies subject sworn personnel to random drug testing as a condition of continuing employment.


The median annual salary for a Transit and Railroad Police Officer is $46,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $76,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $32,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of transit and railroad police are:

  • Local Government- $48,870
  • Rail Transportation - $56,020
  • State Government - $46,520
  • Urban Transit Systems - $37,840
  • Colleges, Universities, and Other Professional Schools - $47,550

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  6%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 400
  • Employment 2006 : 5,600
  • Employment 2016:  5,900
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