NYCT does offer excellent health and retirement benefits, in addition to other on-the-job perks. However, I would not consider a $55,000 salary in the New York City area to be high. I earned slightly more as a NYCT Track Specialist, but quit after 10+ years because it was difficult to provide a decent quality of life for my family.
The requirements for a NYCT Train Operator can be found at the link below:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcas/downloads/ ... 098000.pdf
While I was still with the Authority, a Train Operator required about six months of training. With the implementation of the new CBTC system, that may have increased. For those who feel the qualifications/training do not justify the salary, please consider the work environment.
- MOW personnel work during revenue hours. There is always the chance that a Train Operator may unexpectedly encounter a work crew setting up, or performing inspection, resulting in multiple fatalities.
- New Train Operators are often "extras," and have to work weekends and rotating shifts. Many work holidays, as well.
- It is a 24-hour system, and staying alert during the midnight shift is difficult.
- One typically merits more visits from investigators when sick, as an absent Train Operator affects trains schedules, and must be promptly replaced.
- Disciplinary action is common due to the nature of the job, as it involves moving customers. See what happens to a Train Operator who takes the wrong lineup at an interlocking.
- Consider having an upset stomach, and not being able to just stop the train to use the rest room. Taking a sick day has its own consequences.
- There is always the risk of encountering a jumper, dragging a customer caught in the doors, or derailment.
It is a good job, but not as easy as some may think. I hope this sheds some light on the subject.