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Career and Education Opportunities for Subway Train Operators in Birmingham, Alabama

Subway train operators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Birmingham, Alabama area. The national trend for subway train operators sees this job pool growing by about 18.8% over the next eight years. In general, subway train operators operate subway or elevated suburban train with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar to transport passengers.

The average wage in the general category of Rail jobs is $22 per hour or $46,650 per year in Alabama, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,704 per year nationwide.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a subway train operator. The most common level of education for subway train operators is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a subway train operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Subway Train Operator

Subway Train Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, subway train operators operate subway or elevated suburban train with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar to transport passengers. They also may handle fares.

Subway train operators report delays and emergencies to supervisors or dispatchers, using radios. They also make announcements to passengers. Equally important, subway train operators have to drive and control rail-guided public transportation, such as subways and electric-powered streetcars or trolleys, in order to move passengers. They are often called upon to make use of controls to open and close transit vehicle doors. They are expected to regulate vehicle speed and the time spent at each stop, so as to maintain schedules. Finally, subway train operators greet passengers and answer questions concerning fares and routings.

Every day, subway train operators are expected to be able to respond quickly in general. They need to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. It is also important that they judge how far and close objects are from one another and themselves.

It is important for subway train operators to monitor lights indicating obstructions or other trains ahead and watch for car and truck traffic at crossings to stay alert to potential hazards. They are often called upon to collect fares from passengers, and issue change and transfers. Somewhat less frequently, subway train operators are also expected to direct emergency evacuation procedures.

Subway train operators sometimes are asked to greet passengers and answer questions concerning fares and routings. They also have to be able to attend meetings on driver and passenger safety so as to learn ways in which job performance might be affected And finally, they sometimes have to record transactions and coin receptor readings in order to confirm the amount of money collected.

Like many other jobs, subway train operators must be reliable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Bus Driver. Drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage. May assist passengers with baggage. May collect fares or tickets.
  • Taxi Driver. Drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers. May occasionally carry cargo.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Subway Train Operator Training

Bevill State Community College - Sumiton, AL

Bevill State Community College, 101 State St, Sumiton, AL 35148. Bevill State Community College is a small college located in Sumiton, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,860 students. Bevill State Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated ninety-five students in 2008.


Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.