Train to be a railway conductor and launch your career in the growing railway operations industry.

In just 12 weeks, you will learn the specific responsibilities of a conductor, including moving, marshalling and switching rail cars. This program involves a combination of online and on-campus learning opportunities with visits to nearby industrial sites and hands-on training in a private mini rail yard, complete with tracks and rail cars.

Throughout the program, you will gain a solid understanding of the Canadian Railway Operating Rules (CROR) and related safety systems, the specific responsibilities of a conductor and operating procedures related to train marshalling and switching. You will also become well-versed in the mechanical components of rail cars, air brake systems and communication systems.

Due to increased demand for transportation for the distribution of commodities and manufactured products, the railway industry is experiencing significant growth that will increase employment opportunities. The need for job-ready graduates will also increase as the industry expects high retirement rates due to an aging demographic, creating opportunities for career advancement in various positions.

Conductor graduates must have a strong orientation toward safety, excellent verbal and written English, and good planning, decision-making and communication skills to work in the rail industry. Railways operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The work of a conductor requires regular physical activity outdoors in all types of weather. Conductors must be in good physical condition and able to lift heavy objects (up to 85 lbs).

Applicants to the railway companies are expected to pass government-mandated medical examinations, including testing for vision colour, hearing acuity and drug screening. Applicants to railway jobs are also given security screening by the hiring railway. Persons with concerns should consult with the employment office of the respective railway.

Personal security information may be obtained from the local police force for a fee. To gain employment in the rail industry as a conductor, you're responsible for determining the minimum medical and physical standards required by individual rail companies. SAIT does not provide screening services to meet these standards.

The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.

There may also be opportunities to further your education by transferring to another institution once you graduate.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT certificate as a Railway Conductor.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 00018, 14400, 14405, 70020, 72023, 72024, 72403, 72604, 73310, 73311, 74200, 75211.


Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops


The Railway Conductor certificate requires 13.5 credits (five courses) to complete.

The program spans 12 weeks.

Course Credits

This introductory overview provides general information about the rail industry and the conductor’s role and responsibilities. Course topics explore railway business, conductor’s duties, the importance of leadership, communication and teamwork, the impact of environmental regulations and technology on operations, and finally, how to prepare for a career as a railway conductor.


This course supplements the theory learned and further focuses on the specifics of working in the railway industry, including the use of specialized equipment and the fundamentals of marshalling. Material will cover inspections, switches and derail devices, movement of rail equipment, handbrakes and air brakes, the train information braking system (TIBS), fundamental skills for a conductor and general worksite maintenance procedures.


This course focuses on the fundamentals of railway operations such as methods of traffic control and tracks within territories, railway signals, and the types of forms and documents used in Canadian rail operations.


This course introduces the fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes required for conductors to ensure workplace health and safety. You will examine safety regulations including the transportation of dangerous goods, identify hazard and mitigation procedures, and discuss the importance of proper communication protocols and protection procedures.


This course provides a deeper look at rules and regulations essential to the railway industry. You will examine the Canadian Rail Operating Rules, signals and emergencies, the role of authorities as well as procedures for General Bulletin Order compliance. Regulations for interlocking and centralized traffic control, as well as automatic black signaling and occupancy control systems will also be covered.



Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • At least 50% in Math 20-1 or 20-2 or 20-3 and
  • At least 50% in a Grade 12 English.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.


Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.


English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Spring 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Cancelled
  • Application deadline: Feb. 23, 2024
International students: Cancelled
  • Application deadline: Jan. 22, 2024

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Open
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024


2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 1 $10,935 $950 $11,885
Total cost:

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 1 $18,400.64 $950 $19,350.64
Total cost:

Books and supplies are approximately $600.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes, including:

  • CSA-approved hard hat
  • safety-toed footwear
  • reflective vest
  • safety glasses
  • work gloves.

Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more
Canada Alberta Job Grant icon

This program is eligible for Canada Alberta Job Grant funding.

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the transportation.info@sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages.


Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School of Transportation Advising


International Student Advising