Life As a Locomotive Engineer
Locomotive Engineer Definition 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.
Life As a Locomotive Engineer
- Inspect locomotives after runs to detect damaged or defective equipment.
- Respond to emergency conditions or breakdowns, following applicable safety procedures and rules.
- Check to ensure that brake examination tests are conducted at shunting stations.
- Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
- Call out train signals to assistants to verify meanings.
- Inspect locomotives to verify adequate fuel, sand, water, or other supplies before each run or to check for mechanical problems.
What Every Locomotive Engineer Should Know
Below is a list of the skills most Locomotive Engineers say are important on the job.
Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
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.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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.
Related Job Titles
- Train Engineer
- Transportation Specialist
- Diesel Engine Operator
Locomotive Engineer Job Outlook
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 38,800 jobs in the United States for Locomotive Engineer. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Locomotive Engineer. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 3,000 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Locomotive Engineer are South Carolina, Arizona, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Louisiana, Oregon, or Minnesota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Locomotive Engineer Salary
The typical yearly salary for Locomotive Engineers is somewhere between $46,200 and $97,890.
Locomotive Engineers who work in Washington, Delaware, or New York, make the highest salaries.
How much do Locomotive Engineers make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
Tools & Technologies Used by Locomotive Engineers
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Locomotive Engineers:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Data entry software
- Route mapping software
- Time tracking software
- Electronic train management systems ETMS
How to Become a Locomotive Engineer
Individuals working as a Locomotive Engineer have obtained the following education levels:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Locomotive Engineer?
Where Locomotive Engineers Work
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those interested in being a Locomotive Engineer may also be interested in:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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