Locomotive Engineers

Drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.

Median Annual Wage: $54,500

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (68%); Post-secondary certificate (23%); Some college, no degree (7%)

Projected Growth: Decline (-3% or lower)

Related Job Titles: Conductor; Trainmaster; Locomotive Engineer; Transportation Specialist; Passenger Locomotive Engineer; Railroad Engineer; Train Engineer; Conductor/Engineer; Engineer/Conductor; Through Freight Engineer

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Locomotive Engineers.

More Transportation and Material Moving Careers

  • Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
  • Receive starting signals from conductors and use controls such as throttles or air brakes to drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas turbine-electric locomotives.
  • Monitor gauges or meters that measure speed, amperage, battery charge, or air pressure in brakelines or in main reservoirs.
  • Observe tracks to detect obstructions.
  • Call out train signals to assistants to verify meanings.
  • Operate locomotives to transport freight or passengers between stations or to assemble or disassemble trains within rail yards.
  • Check to ensure that brake examination tests are conducted at shunting stations.
  • Respond to emergency conditions or breakdowns, following applicable safety procedures and rules.
  • Inspect locomotives to verify adequate fuel, sand, water, or other supplies before each run or to check for mechanical problems.
  • Inspect locomotives after runs to detect damaged or defective equipment.
  • Prepare reports regarding any problems encountered, such as accidents, signaling problems, unscheduled stops, or delays.
  • Check to ensure that documentation, such as procedure manuals or logbooks, are in the driver's cab and available for staff use.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Locomotive Engineers.

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Locomotive Engineers.

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