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Career and Education Opportunities for Subway Train Operators in Elgin, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for subway train operators in the Elgin, Illinois area. The national trend for subway train operators sees this job pool growing by about 18.8% over the next eight years. Subway train operators generally 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 $45,084 per year in Illinois, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,704 per year nationwide.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including two within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as a subway train operator. The most common level of education for subway train operators is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Elgin 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

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

Star Truck Driving School - Bensenville, IL

Star Truck Driving School, 710 Larsen Ln, Bensenville, IL 60106. Star Truck Driving School is a small school located in Bensenville, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 38 students and an admission rate of 82%. Star Truck Driving School has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 332 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.