cchoate83 wrote:I am interested in having a career with the railroad. I was wondering if it is best to attend NARS and try to get on, or if I should try to get hired on first without the program. I have heard some say you should wait to get hired on, but my problem is not being able to get my foot in the door. My biggest fear with attending NARS is not finding a job afterward. I have read on here about being furloughed or unable to find a job. Any advice??
You're going to get many different opinions to your question. Guys that went to NARS or any other RR school, and got a job are going to say that it's a great investment.
I myself think that it's a ripoff, but I was hired off the street. There's no use to pay the money for school, when the RR's will pay you in their own conductor class. You will end up spending $5000 plus lodging and food, be out of work for however long the course is, and then come out of there with a RR tech certificate which does you absolutely no good unless you get a job on the RR. Then if you do get a Class 1 job, you still have to go through their conductor training courses, a repeat of what you just went through. Also, there is always the chance of being furloughed, that means that you have the bills from the class to pay for on top of your other bills.
I hired on about two years ago. At our hiring session there were 25 guys. 1 of the 25 went to NARS, and he made sure that everyone at the hiring session made sure they knew. Anyway, he wasn't one of the six that was hired.
There's no need in trying to "buy" your job. If you have a good work history, good background, and a good head on your shoulders, you'll get on somewhere. It may take a while. Good luck man.