How Much Does A Goods Guard Make? (Responsibilities And Scope)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 July 2022

Published 8 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A goods guard is considered to be the guardian of the train who operates from a special wagon that is placed at the back of the train. One of the most important duties of the goods guard is to ensure that both the goods and the train reach the destination safely. Learning more about this career could help you decide if it is an opportunity you want to pursue. In this article, we discuss how much does a goods guard make, list their responsibilities, explore what it takes to become one and learn about the skills they require.

How Much Does A Goods Guard Make?

Consider the following information to answer the question, "How much does a goods guard make?":

An Indian Railways goods guard is a pay level five post of the 7th Central Pay Commission or CPC. With their grade pay marked at ₹2,800, they can draw a basic salary of ₹29,200 per month under this level. The Indian nationwide rail network is the fourth-longest in the world and because of its expanse, the goods guards are high in demand.

Perks And Allowances Of A Goods Guard

Apart from the basic pay, the goods guard can also enjoy several perks and allowances, such as Dearness Allowance (DA) which is 28% of the basic pay, Transport Allowance (TA) which is currently fixed at ₹2,016 and House Rent Allowance (HRA) which is a minimum 8% of the basic pay, but can vary depending on the posting in metro or non-metro cities. Some other monetary benefits such as a pension scheme and medical facilities are also included in the pay package. Another allowance that a goods guard receives is the Running Allowance which consists of two elements:

  • Kilometrage Allowance (KMA): Indian Railways calculates this allowance on the basis of how many kilometres a goods guard covers and has currently fixed the rate at ₹470 per 100 kilometres.

  • Allowance in Lieu of Kilometrage (ALK): Goods guards receive the ALK which is currently fixed at the rate of ₹752 per 160 kilometres for outstation duties and 30% of the basic pay for headquarter duties, if the Indian Railways employs them on non-running duties.

Related: How Much Does An RRB JE Make? Salaries, Perks And Benefits

Who Is A Goods Guard?

As the name suggests, a goods guard is the guard of a goods train. They have to constantly communicate with the pilot of the locomotive in order to keep the train running smoothly. A goods guard also conveys to the locomotive pilot that the train can leave the station after ensuring that there are no obstacles that can cause an accident. Whenever the train stops, the goods guard's responsibility is to protect the train from theft as per the guidelines laid down by the Indian Railways.

Related: What Is A Loco Pilot? A Complete Guide

Responsibilities Of A Goods Guard

A goods guard is a supervisor, an individual who is in charge of the safety of the train. For example, he is responsible for protecting wagons from thieves who can try to steal coal or other precious cargo. Here are a few other important responsibilities of a goods guard:

  • Get clearances from station masters before the train departs from the stations

  • Secure vehicle guidance document listing out details of the wagons

  • Carry a torch, flags, tail lamp, pressure gauge and an emergency light

  • Ensure all safety measures of the train are in place

  • Make sure the emergency brakes are not faulty and brake power is sufficient

  • Check if all the doors and shutters of the wagons remain closed during the journey

  • Maintain constant communication with the pilot and co-pilot of the train

  • Apply emergency brakes whenever required

  • Light up flares to give various signals to locomotive pilots or other trains nearby

  • Set up detonators to clear the blockage on railway tracks if any

  • Make train reports involving time of arrival and departure

How To Become A Goods Guard

You will need to clear a written test that is followed by the verification of your personal documents before you can become a goods guard. Here are the steps you can follow to pursue the career:

1. Obtain school education

Complete your higher secondary education (12th grade) from a board that is recognised by the Government of India. You can complete your school education in any stream, but opting for computer education can help you clear the entrance examination for a goods guard's position. If computer as a subject is not part of the curriculum, you can consider opting for it as an additional subject if your school has a provision for that.

2. Pursue a degree course

After passing out from school, the next step that you can take is to pursue a bachelor's degree from a recognised university or its equivalent. This degree can be in any field, but opting for computer education on a bachelor's level can prove to be rewarding. Additionally, you can also secure a diploma in Transport Economics & Management, Multi-Modal & Transport or Rail Transport & Management from the Institute of Rail Transport, Rail Bhawan in New Delhi.

3. Register on RRB NTPC

Register on the website of Railway Recruitment Boards Non-Technical Popular Categories Exam or RRB NTPC. Apart from a bachelor's degree, the eligibility criteria also include the age limit which is 18 to 33 years. The Indian Railways also tests you for physical fitness with a special emphasis on visual acuity. The candidates will have to pass tests of colour vision, binocular vision, field of vision and night vision. If you pass the tests and clear the exam, you will have to undergo the training of 45 days in a zonal training institute or a railway station.

4. Clear the RRB NTPC examination

The selection process consists of different stages such as preliminary examination, main examination, physical fitness test and verification of documents. The Railway Recruitment Boards of different zones in the Indian Railways announce the dates for the registration after which the board organises these competitive exams. The preliminary and main examinations are computer-based tests or CBTs, which can include questions on:

  • Quantitative aptitude: Based on mathematics, these questions can test your ability to calculate time and distance, percentages or directions.

  • General knowledge: These questions can test your general awareness of current matters and may specifically focus on railways or railways in India.

  • General intelligence: These questions are designed to test your understanding of reasoning, decision making or spatial intelligence.

  • General English: Questions in this section can test your knowledge of grammar, but they can be optional in certain zones.

Related: How To Become A Transportation Engineer: A Complete Guide

Skills Required To Become A Goods Guard

Here are a few skills required to become a goods guard:


A goods guard needs to stay attentive as there can be obstacles in the journey that can cause an accident. Attentiveness can help them make the right decisions at the right time, for example, applying emergency brakes or carefully giving or receiving signals. Attention to detail can help them accomplish several tasks focusing on safety measures being followed.


A goods guard needs to be in contact with the pilot and the co-pilot of the locomotive throughout the journey. Conveying messages clearly can help them make informed decisions that can avert accidents or improve arrival and departure times. Effective communication can ensure the safety of the cargo, train and all aboard it.


A Goods guard operates without a partner and travels in the special wagon alone. Keeping patience can prove to be an important skill for them as journeys can be long with no company. Possessing patience can help them avoid restlessness, make good decisions and solve problems efficiently.


Trains run at different times that are set according to a timetable. Reaching on time for the duty can facilitate a train's on-time arrival and departure. Punctuality can help other officials to keep up with their respective schedules as well. Being punctual can help them manage time effectively and also accomplish more tasks that can help them secure a promotion.

Career Prospects Of A Goods Guard

After gaining significant experience as a goods guard, they can also hold positions such as passenger guard, express guard, section controller and chief controller. They can also write a Limited Departmental Competitive Examination or LDCE exam for a Group B gazetted post of assistant operations manager or AOM. The pay band of the AOM can be ₹9,300 to ₹34,800 with a grade pay marked at ₹4,800. The AOM may receive postings in other public sector undertakings or PSUs or various units of the Ministry of Railways.

Salary figures show data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing the article. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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