I have no degree, a dead-end job, and a baby on the way. How do I get my life together for the sake of my daughter?

This is a great idea. I usually want to make this suggestion in threads like these but it never gains any traction. If you are willing to travel, have a fairly clean record and can pass a hair drug test (3 months) you could work for the RR. The guys who build and maintain the track start at $25 an hour for labor. They will teach you how to drive truck, run machines or weld if that's your thing.

They will put your ass through college as well if it's a degree the RR can use. Five years after you graduate you're a free agent and can leave the RR without paying back the tuition.

You will be on the road for the first few years though. It will also be a "seasonal" job for till your seniority builds up, then you'll be able to work year round.

Also, we hire just about anyone, so you have a good shot. If the first time fails, just try again.

The union is strong but getting weaker all the time. They are still REALLY good at keeping you your job if/when you fuck up though.

If track work isn't for you, train service is always an option. Getting your foot in the door is important though. After 1 year or when you drop into furlough you can apply for a craft transfer and your name goes to the top of the list. Doesn't mean you'll get the new job (Signal, Bridges & Buildings, Train Service, and the list goes on) but you will usually get an interview.

Here a link to the BNSF hiring page. Most (all?) major RRs operate under the same basic contract though so what I've said should still be accurate as far as I know.


You'll see I left alot of stuff out because I'm not aware of it. When reading through that site remember it's a RECRUITING page and things arnt all sunshine and roses. Some days/weeks/months are going to really suck but it's worth it.

One last motivator: I barely graduated high school and made $61k in 9 1/2 months this year.

Source - Decade on the RR.

/r/personalfinance Thread