Railway Traffic Controllers and Marine Traffic Regulators

Occupation:Railway and Marine Traffic Controllers
Category:Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

About the job

Nature of work:

Railway traffic controllers coordinate passenger and freight train traffic on railways. They are employed by rail transport companies. Marine traffic regulators monitor and regulate coastal and inland marine traffic within assigned waterways. They are employed by port, harbour, canal and lock authorities and by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Job duties:
Railway traffic controllers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate and monitor centralized traffic control systems to coordinate and follow railway traffic.
  • Chart train movements, calculate arrival and departure times and record rail traffic information.
  • Issue instructions to control the movement of passenger and freight train traffic and on-track mobile maintenance equipment.
  • Receive, record, and relay train instructions to train crew by hand or radio telephone.
  • May supervise and train other railway traffic controllers.
Marine traffic regulators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Direct and monitor vessel movements using radar or closed circuit monitors, remote radio systems and other telecommunication equipment.
  • Obtain position, course, speed and estimated arrival time of vessels and monitor vessel progress through traffic zone.
  • Issue clearance instructions to vessels, advise vessels of traffic volumes and weather conditions, and relay information to next marine traffic control sector.
  • Report accidents, distress signals, navigational hazards and other emergencies to authorities.
  • Maintain radio and telephone contact with adjacent marine control sectors and with vessels within area of jurisdiction.
  • Maintain log of vessel movements, size and structure.
Sample job titles:
  • centralized traffic control (CTC) operator - railway traffic
  • centralized traffic controller - railway traffic
  • chief rail traffic controller
  • chief train dispatcher
  • marine traffic controller
  • rail traffic controller
  • train dispatcher
  • train operator

For these jobs, you need a strong sense of responsibility and the ability to perform under pressure. Attention to detail is important. You must be alert and articulate, and have excellent communication skills.

Job requirements:
  • Railway traffic controllers usually require completion of secondary school and several years of experience in the railway industry.
  • Up to 35 weeks of a combination of classroom and on-the-job training is provided for railway traffic controllers.
  • Railway traffic controllers require a Canadian Rail Operating Rules certificate.
  • Marine traffic regulators require completion of secondary school and several months of formal traffic regulator training.
Other considerations:

There is little mobility between traffic controlling jobs in the railway and marine sectors. With experience, railway traffic controllers may progress to supervisory positions in rail transport operations.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Railway and Marine Traffic Controllers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 73% of Railway and Marine Traffic Controllers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $98,295. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Railway Traffic Controllers and Marine Traffic Regulators50xxx
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum:  N/A
Median: $70,363
Maximum:  N/A
Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology25,875Strong growth3,095Low
Minimum: $17.69
Median: $31.35
Maximum: $47.18
Minimum: $13,568
Median: $60,422
Maximum: $107,009
Railway Traffic Controllers and Marine Traffic RegulatorsCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
Percent employed full-time100%94%
Percent self-employed1%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentRailway Traffic Controllers and Marine Traffic RegulatorsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape BretonN/Ax13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley18%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeRailway Traffic Controllers and Marine Traffic RegulatorsCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
Median Age5143
GenderRailway Traffic Controllers and Marine Traffic RegulatorsCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
EducationRailway Traffic Controllers and Marine Traffic RegulatorsCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/Ax0.7%$28,107
High school33.3%$53,27112.1%$35,125
Trades certificateN/A$77,1146.8%$54,923
College certificate or diploma33.3%$87,49633.7%$52,476
University certificate or diplomaN/A$88,1023.7%$52,446
Bachelor's degree16.7%$92,47429.7%$58,011
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax2.0%$54,917
Master's degreeN/Ax9.7%$37,706
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$57,566
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Railway Association of Canada
99 Bank Street, Suite 901
Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9
Tel: (613) 567-8591
Fax: (613) 567-6726
Canadian Coast Guard College
1190 Westmount Road
Sydney, NS B1R 2J6
Tel: (888) 582-9090
Fax: (902) 567-3233

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.