Yardmasters are the traffic controllers of the yards and terminals in the railroad industry. Using computers and supervising switching equipment in the yard tower, they route trains and engines within the yard. The yardmaster reads switching orders and schedules to determine the time trains will arrive or depart, the sequence of movement and the routing of trains onto tracks. He or she receives and transmits switching orders to and from yard crews.

Yardmasters also supervise clerical staff in the yard offices.

Industrial and Shop Welding

Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces which melts and fuses them to form a permanent bond. Because of its strength, welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding also is used to join steel beams in the construction of buildings, bridges and other structures, and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants and refineries.

Transit & Commuter Rail

SMART represents workers on a number of major regional transit providers, including light and heavy rail carriers in major metropolitan areas nationwide. Rail remains one of the most sustainable and efficient ways of safely transporting travelers to their destination, and national legislation has reaffirmed its key role going forward as part of U.S. infrastructure, reducing the need for automobiles and easing vehicle traffic in urban areas.

Engineers, like their freight and passenger rail counterparts, operate the train from the cab and control starting, stopping and train speed.

Conductors collect tickets and cash fares, help passengers board and exit and assist with safety checks. They also ensure safety and comfort. Conductors must be able to handle complaints from customers in a tactful and pleasant manner.

Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency (TAB)

Testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB) is an important part of air and water delivery systems. TAB technicians make sure that air and water in heating and air conditioning systems are delivered efficiently, quietly and safely throughout a building.

As a TAB technician, you will be responsible for working on air and water delivery systems to meet the specifications outlined by the design engineer. If you like math and the idea of working on complex systems and solving problems, TAB is a good career choice for you.

Sign Fabrication & Installation

As a sign hanger and builder, your job includes installing, mounting, servicing and repairing signs in commercial, industrial and high-rise residential settings. Your duties include preparing poles, buildings, billboards and other structures for installations, and then mounting the signs.

You also have a chance to showcase your creativity and skills in some of the most photographed and well-traveled places in the world, from Times Square in New York City to the cold, frozen wasteland known as Wisconsin. This includes fabricating signage that will be seen by thousands and millions of people.


SMART members perform work in shipyards from coast to coast, including Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the Ingalls Shipyard in Mississippi. Most, but not all, of the ships that members work on are vessels for the U.S. Navy. We build new ships from the ground up, and we also perform maintenance of the entire Navy fleet to keep them ready for the defense of our two nations and our allies.

SMART work in these shipyards includes all ventilation fabrication and installation. Members also install and maintain the galleys and cafeteria areas. Crew quarters, living areas that include metal furniture installation, and lockers and bunks are among our work jurisdictions.

Service and Refrigeration

Almost everything we do indoors depends on a working heating and cooling system. These systems make buildings comfortable and safe. Demand for skilled technicians in this specialized field is high.

As a service and refrigeration technician, you’ll work on a variety of job sites. You may install and test systems to ensure that they are operating safely and efficiently. You may sometimes have to work in dangerous conditions, like during a storm. The work is always exciting and challenging, and your services will always be in demand.

Opportunities in this field include:

  • Service technician
  • Fabricator
  • System evaluator
  • Energy consumption manager
  • Service manager


A roofer is a skilled tradesperson who installs a waterproof membrane on a building that has either a flat or sloped deck consisting of wood, steel or concrete. They may specialize in residential or industrial roofing. The most commonly used roofing product is a layer of asphalt paper embedded in hot asphalt up to four times over a layer or layers of rigid board insulation, which in turn is covered with a ballast called pea gravel that is also embedded in hot asphalt. It is also common to use a single-ply rubber membrane that is laid over rigid board insulation or to use rolls of modified bitumen paper applied by using a propane torch and melting the product over a flat surface.

Residential HVAC

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. As a residential HVAC technician, you will work on installing and servicing complete residential HVAC systems. You’ll install ductwork for a wide variety of residences including single-family homes, town homes and apartment buildings. You may also work on duct systems for existing buildings to remodel, upgrade or troubleshoot. Most of your work will be done in the field.

Opportunities in this field include:

  • New construction installer
  • Residential finish installer
  • Retrofit technician
  • Residential services technician

Rail Mechanical

Union sheet metal members work in freight and passenger rail transportation, including commuter railroads. They maintain and rebuild locomotives that move freight, long-distance passenger train equipment and equipment used in commuter rail service. Additionally, members of the sheet metal craft maintain heating and ventilation systems, as well as pipefitting and plumbing, within the railroad shops, yards and buildings.

When it comes to America’s transportation infrastructure, SMART members not only operate it; we also maintain the systems that deliver passengers and a wide range of materials (hazardous and non-hazardous) across North America to their points of usage. International union representatives serve and support the affiliates and members under this department.