Amtrak is a railroad service that transports passengers. It runs across the US and into Canada and the District of Columbia.
Every day, over 300 trains run on the network at speeds that reach up to 150 miles per hour. The company employs over 20,000 employees and is hiring now.
Trains are the main form of transportation, but continuous service is a priority. Interconnecting buses are also available to passengers.
If you're looking for an exciting career in the rail transport industry, a job at Amtrak could be the perfect fit.
To help you get hired, we've put together a rundown of the Amtrak application process. We'll take you through each step with tips to get a job.
Plus, we'll share some of the most common interview questions you can expect to be asked.
What is Amtrak?
Amtrak, or The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, is a network of passenger railroad transport routes.
Amtrak was founded in 1971. There were previously 20 different passenger railroads, and they all merged to become Amtrak.
The service runs throughout the US, with short, medium, and long-distance travel options. In the space of one month last year, over 1.8 million people used Amtrak as their mode of transportation.
There are more than 500 destinations you can choose from. For example, passengers can travel between cities for their daily commute or venture interstate for a family vacation.
They pride themselves on providing a carbon-neutral transportation option that's more environmentally friendly than a plane or car. It's an affordable choice, with a senior discount and student discount.
Besides the passenger rail network, Amtrak has a partnership with the credit card issuer, Mastercard. Passengers with a credit card can earn rewards and exclusive member discounts.
Why would you want to work at Amtrak?
There's a range of benefits for Amtrak train employees. The perks you'll receive will depend on your job title and hours worked.
Eligible employees can get a generous discount on travel, and some trips will be free. Plus, you'll get discounts with the company's partner brands. For example, you can get discounts on local dining purchases and visits to theme parks, museums, and movie theaters.
There are health insurance options, including medical, vision, dental, and prescription coverage. If you meet the minimum requirements, you'll get paid vacation time, income protection, and a 401(k) plan.
Amtrak has a range of jobs available, and even if you don't want to travel, you can still get a position. For example, you can work in administration, finance, marketing, information technology, or management.
The Amtrak brand values teamwork, diversity, and inclusive behavior. They have a team of dedicated professionals who support each other and make sure customers have a positive experience.
What do you need to work at Amtrak?
If you want to work at Amtrak, you'll need to meet a few minimum requirements. Plus, each job will have a set of unique criteria.
You'll need to pass a background check and have a clean drug test.
Most employees need to pass the Amtrak Cultural Fit Assessment. It's an online multiple-choice quiz that can take over an hour to complete.
The assessment is a personality test. The results help the employer decide if you'd be a good fit for the company's culture. They want to know that your values align with theirs.
For example, Amtrak standards are high for service roles. They want to know you're committed to superior customer service and that you work well under pressure.
If your role involves train travel and cross-border services, you should be prepared to spend time away from home. Some mechanical and engineering positions require physical fitness, manual dexterity, and attention to detail.
For most roles, a high school diploma or equivalent is required.
How to apply for a job at Amtrak
Are you interested in working in a transportation environment? Here's a step-by-step guide to completing the Amtrak application process.
1. Browse open positions
If Amtrak sounds like the company for you, it’s time to start your job search. There are always positions available in a range of different areas.
Browse by keyword or location, and read the job descriptions carefully. When you find something you like, look at the requirements.
Do you have the relevant skills for the position? Is there any training you need to do before you apply?
For example, if you want to apply for a customer service representative role, you’ll need experience working with people. You should be physically fit and able to lift heavy packages, and be comfortable working unsupervised.
If you don’t have experience, there are trainee positions available, including conductor roles.
Is Amtrak not hiring in your area right now? Sign up for email alerts to get updated on relevant roles.
2. Create an account
Now it’s time to create your Amtrak job seeker account. On each job description is an “apply now” button, and this will take you to the sign-up page.
You’ll go through a general sign-up process. Amtrak asks for your first and last name, your email address, and a password. You’ll also need to state your country of residence.
Make sure your details are correct because you’ll need to confirm your email address.
Before you hit submit, you can ask for notifications for jobs and updates. These updates are sent to your inbox and can be useful if you want a career with Amtrak.
You’ll also need to accept the privacy statement.
3. Upload documents
The next step needs some preparation. You’ll need to upload your resume, so make sure it’s ready to go.
Customize your resume to the position by focusing on skills and duties from the job description. If you’re from a different industry, highlight your transferable skills, such as excellent customer service, leadership skills, and computer skills.
Your resume should be between one and two pages long. Avoid graphics, borders, and fancy fonts, and check for spelling and grammatical errors.
To enhance your application, you can upload a cover letter. This is optional but recommended. Check out these cover letter templates.
You’ll also need to upload your COVID-19 vaccination card.
4. Check your profile information
Now, you can double-check your details. Are your name and address correct? You’ll add your phone number here, too.
Many of Amtrak’s roles involve travel. Some will only be short distances, while others are cross-border. There’s a question that asks you about your willingness to travel. Your answer will be a percentage.
For example, you may be willing to travel up to 50% of the time. You may also be asked this question during the job interview.
5. List your professional experience
You can use the information on your resume to help you complete the professional experience section.
Include your employment history, starting with your most recent role and working backward. You’ll need to add dates, the employment type, industry, and company names.
Even if you don’t think a recent job is relevant, you should still include it. Otherwise, you may have a gap in your resume.
There’s also a section for you to add any military experience.
When listing your professional experience, always be honest. Amtrak may check with previous employers to verify the information.
6. Include your education
You may have valuable experience from your education. The next stage of the application process is all about your academic achievements.
You’ll need to add your educational history, including degrees and certificates. Remember to check the job description to understand the minimum education requirements.
If you have any professional memberships, you should include them in this section. For example, if you’re an engineer, you may be a member of the American Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE).
7. Add the final touches
Toward the end of the application process, you’ll be asked a few additional questions.
The hiring manager will want to know if you can speak any languages other than English and whether you’d be willing to relocate for the role.
Once again, you’ll need to confirm your COVID-19 vaccination details.
8. Discuss the job
The final section is specific to the job that you’re applying for. The questions may vary depending on the position, but you’ll need to tell Amtrak how you heard about the job.
If you have any referrals, you can add their details to boost your application.
You’ll also need to list your preferred start date and employment type. For example, do you want to work full-time or part-time? If the role doesn’t have a set salary, you’ll need to include your expected wage.
Have an existing employment contract? You’ll need to declare it.
When you’re ready, hit the “submit” button!
What happens once you submit your Amtrak application?
Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll get a confirmation email.
A recruiter will check your resume and the information provided. If they think you’d be a good fit, they’ll get in touch. You’ll be given a quick phone screening before being invited to a panel interview.
If you don’t hear back, they’ll keep your details in case there's a suitable position available in the future. You can apply for more than one position at a time.
What types of jobs are available at Amtrak?
What jobs are available at Amtrak right now? The options depend on your location.
If you want to work with people, consider a concierge service role, beverage service role, or customer service representative position. Employees in service delivery need to be friendly, organized, and calm in a fast-paced environment.
Want to work with your hands? There are jobs in train operations and maintenance. Apply for a role as a lineman trainee, journeyman electrician, supervisor, or mechanic.
If you want to be in the driver’s seat, there are positions available for trainee conductors.
Common Amtrak interview questions
Made it to the job interview stage? That’s great news. You can take a look at some of the most common job interview questions and answers.
To help you prepare, we’ve put together some specific questions you may be asked at an Amtrak interview.
Why do you want to work in passenger rail?
Why do you want to work for Amtrak?
Share an example of a time when you gave excellent customer service.
What do you know about the role?
Are you available on call?
Are you prepared to travel?
What can you bring to our company?
Are you available to take an online Cultural Fit Assessment?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Share an example of a mistake you had to learn from in a previous role.
When are you able to start work?
Why are you leaving your current role?
Where to apply for an Amtrak job
Now that you have all the details, it’s time to start your application.
Remember, jobs are updated regularly. If you can’t find what you’re looking for right now, keep checking.
Applying for a job at Amtrak
Amtrak is a passenger train service in the US and beyond. They’re hiring now, and your next position could be waiting for you.
To help you get a job, we took you through the application process. To start, you’ll browse open positions and create a free job seeker account.
Next, you’ll upload your documents, including a professional resume. Check your details, and list your professional experience and education.
There’ll be a few final touches and questions related to the job. Once you hit submit, you can sit back and wait. If the hiring manager likes what they see, they’ll give you a phone call or email.
Whether you want to apply for a job at Amtrak, or another company in your area, we have what you need. Our job board always has fresh positions, and you can sign up for email alerts.
Plus, we have more useful articles and career tips in our resource center.
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