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Are you thinking on changing careers? Have you thought about the railroad? The railroad industry is one of the highest paying blue collar jobs in America. I actually came to the railroad industry from a white collar executive job. My previous career was higher pay and a lot higher stress. Not to mention the benefits were junk compared to the railroad and the retirement plan was even worse. Is it any wonder I swapped my suit and tie for boots and blue jeans? I could not be any happier with the career change. Did I mention I no longer have to baby sit 40 employees or deal with the stress that comes with it? If you're thinking on a career change let me give you 5 reasons to check into the railroad industry. #1 is the money. When I was in the white collar world and looking to get into the blue collar world I was not willing to take a very big pay cut. Therefore I wanted a job where I could make at least $60,000 per year or more. With the railroad you can make up to $100,000 depending on the railroad and how much you want to work. The average is about $70,000 per year. Remember though that your pay is going to depend on how much you work, where you work, and who you work for. #2 reason is the benefits. I was paying about $500 per month out of my paycheck in the white collar world for my family's benefits. Now I pay $110.00 for my whole family. The company pays the rest. Keep in mind that figure does not change whether or not I have one child or twelve! #3 reason is the retirement. Your retirement is paid into the Railroad Retirement Board and not Social Security. You will no longer be paying into Social Security but rather into the Railroad Retirement Board. Obviously much more stable than Social Security and much higher retirement pay outs. Will Social Security even be there in 20 years? #4 reason is you're typically not cooped up in an office or cubicle. As a freight conductor I am working inside the locomotive but I am outside traveling the countryside. If something breaks I go outside and fix it. I can't explain how cool it is going through the country sitting inside the locomotive while it's a blizzard of snow outside. #5 reason is no stress and it's not back breaking work. I use to stress out and take my work home with me when I was in the white collar world. Now I just do my job and when it's over it's over.

I have also had jobs where I was doing construction and back breaking work. Sometimes you will do some physical work as a conductor such as changing a knuckle but for the most part you're not doing back breaking work. The best part is you typically work with only one or two people unsupervised. Which means you can do your job without a manager looking over your shoulder all day long. So if you're looking for a new career think about the railroad.

Sean Martin is the author of “How to Get a Railroad Job and Make up to $75,000 per Year!”

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