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Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas (AO-K) Railroad Conductor Pathway

Earn a GED® while you complete a short-term program in the railroad field, leading to industry-recognized credentials and improved job prospects. Become an AO-K student today!


Two National Academy of Railroad Science students walking between the rails of a track in the simulated rail yard on the JCCC campus.

AO-K at JCCC = double time toward a high school diploma and a career

Launch a successful career while simultaneously receiving academic instruction and in-demand technical certificates. You may even qualify for free tuition for Pathway courses. 

As a railway conductor, you will:

  • Distribute cargo and weight evenly along the train
  • Ensure rail cars are in proper working order
  • Maintain communication with the train’s engineer, traffic control and other crew members
  • Adhere to strict safety regulations and guidelines

AO-K teaching approach

This Pathway can offer you:

  • Maximized individual attention
  • Specialized teaching team to help improve your:
    • basic reading, writing and math skills related to your technical career
  • technical and professional skills

You’ll study at the National Academy of Railroad Sciences (NARS), a partnership between Johnson County Community College and BNSF Railway.

NARS instructors, who are former railroad conductors, will use outdoor labs and simulators to teach you:

  • rules and signals
  • safety policies and procedures
  • train mechanics
  • on-the-job requirements

Courses in the Railroad Conductor Pathway include:

  • Introduction to Conductor Service
  • General Code of Operating Rules
  • Conductor Mechanical Operation
  • Conductor Field Application
  • Conductor Service
  • Workplace Skills

Labor Department outlook for railroad conductors

The Kansas Department of Commerce reports competitive wages for railroad conductors. In the state of Kansas, the median wage for railroad conductors is $57,480 a year. 

To learn more, email Kayla Harrity, AO-K coordinator/instructor, or call her at 913-469-3003.