Streetcar Operator: Job Duties & Career Information

Also known as motormen, streetcar operators operate electrically-powered streetcars through urban streets. Keep reading to learn more about what streetcar operators do and how to become one. See what the career prospects are, and learn about related jobs.

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Career Definition for Streetcar Operators

The main duty of a streetcar operator is to transport passengers. Since streetcars generally run on recessed tracks through city streets, traffic signals must be observed and obeyed. A streetcar operator must also observe and interact with both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Other duties of a streetcar operator are speed regulation, safety observation and the operation of streetcar doors in order for passengers to enter and exit the car.

Education Training program; experience as a bus driver may be required
Job Skills Interpersonal skills, oral communication, decision making, problem solving, motor skills
Median Salary $62,360 (2015) for street car operators
Career Outlook 6% (2014-2024) for motor vehicle operators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A college degree is not essential to start a career as a streetcar operator; however, a training program must be completed. In some cities where the streetcar and bus systems are run in tandem, experience as a bus driver might be required before one can become a streetcar operator. A training program that can last up to six months is required and provided by most employers, followed by successful completion of examinations focusing on safety operations and emergency procedures.

Skills Required

A streetcar operator should have excellent motor, oral communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Interpersonal skills are also needed, since streetcar operators deal with the public on a daily basis.

Career and Economic Outlook

Job growth for streetcar and subway operators, among other motor vehicle operators, is expected to be 6% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for streetcar operators was reported to be $62,360 in May 2015, per the BLS.

Alternative Career Options

Related careers include:

Bus Driver

Like streetcar operators, bus drivers can be hired without a college degree; however, they must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) and meet minimum health, hearing and vision standards. Up to several months of training is required. Special training and exams may be required to earn the CDL designation necessary to carry passengers or students. The BLS predicts that jobs for bus drivers will increase 6% from 2014-2024; transit and intercity bus drivers earned median pay of $38,290 in May 2015, while school bus drivers and those who served specialized clientele earned median pay of $29,490 that same year.

Taxi Driver

Taxi drivers also don't need a college degree, but again, training is generally required. Candidates need to have a driver's license, and some states require taxi drivers to hold a special taxi or limousine license. Training usually takes a few weeks. From 2014-2024, jobs for taxi drivers and chauffeurs are expected to increase 13%, according to the BLS; they earned median pay of $23,510 in May 2015.

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