Canadian National Railway Company Signals & Communications Apprentice - 529 in Rockford, Illinois

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Signal and Communication Apprentices will participate in a one year apprenticeship to become qualified Signal Maintainers. The duties of a Signal Maintainer include: installing, repairing, testing and maintaining various signal and communications systems and apparatus, including railway signaling systems, wayside information systems, and highway grade crossing protection systems. Typical Apprentice duties include hand digging to bury cable, wiring equipment, using a variety of hand tools, bonding rail and testing signal plants. To learn more about the job click here to view the video.


nDuties and Responsibilities:n

+ Responsible for highway grade crossing protection as well as the maintenance and repair of automatic classification yards

+ Install, repair, maintain, test and inspect signal systems including automatic block, traffic control, train stop, train control, cab signal and interlocking systems

+ Use of a wide variety of hand tools, on track high-rail equipment, and test instruments

+ Perform construction duties, including digging holes and trenches to lay cables, wiring apparatus, setting piers, installing equipment, etc.

nWorking Conditions:n

+ Walking and working on uneven terrain and surfaces

+ Work shift work, as well as work away from home on various work cycles and occasional overtime

+ Work at all locations across the region

+ Work outdoors, which includes extreme weather conditions, involving physical work

Perform repetitive physical activities during the course of a shift

+ Frequent lifting/carrying up to 50 pounds (22 kg) and occasionally up to 85 pounds (32 kg)

+ Good balancing skills for performing installation and maintenance activities

+ Comply with safe work procedures and policies

+ Frequent climbing, balancing, grasping, and good eye-hand coordination, working at heights and elevations

nWork location:n


Employees will be required to work away from home in isolated locations. Once qualified, Apprentices are subject to promotion as an S&C Maintainer, likely in an area where there are no qualified applicants. Signal Maintainers are required to be on-call after hours, during holidays and inclement weather.




Successful applicants will participate in an apprenticeship training program that includes in-class theory and lab work with hands-on skill development in the field. The in-class portion of the training program consists of two sessions that are approximately three weeks long. These sessions are located in Homewood, IL and are mandatory. Apprentices will be required to pass a series of periodic tests relating to duties, responsibilities, and operating rules. In the circumstance that an apprentice fails any of the periodic testing, their application for employment may be rejected at that time.




The Signal and Communication Apprentice is a unionized position. Wages, initiation fees, and monthly dues are required as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.


nMinimum Requirements:n

+ Must be 18 years of age

+ Valid driver's license

+ High School diploma or GED

+ Must meet all medical fitness for duty requirements for the position

+ Signal and Communications Apprentices may be required to obtain a CDL during their probationary period or within 120 days of employment

nThe ideal candidate profile:n

+ Demonstrates the ability to work independently and be organized while maintaining a schedule

+ Co puter skills that apply to the job

+ Ability to judge the condition of objects/parts for wear and/or defects

+ Capable of making effective decisions in unfamiliar locations or when responding to changes or interruptions in work processes

+ Ability to follow company safety procedures, use common sense and maintain an overall level of safety awareness

+ Ability to understand and apply electrical/electronic and mechanical principles

+ Capable of reading and understanding visual displays and written communications

+ Ability to provide clear written and verbal communications

+ Ability to work in a team environment


+ Knowledge of signals or Railroad Operating Rules

+ Previous experience as a Signal Maintainer or Signal Apprentice

+ Previous experience operating heavy machinery

+ Previous experience in the electrical and/or electronics field or environment

+ CDL with Hazmat endorsement

+ Completion of a Bachelor's degree, or a 2 or 3 year College level program in electronics, electrical engineering or other related field such as physics or mathematics

CN is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. It is our policy to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, assuming an individual can perform the essential functions o