What Do Locomotive Engineer Do?
Job Description & Duties 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: What Do They Do?
- Inspect locomotives to verify adequate fuel, sand, water, or other supplies before each run or to check for mechanical problems.
- Monitor gauges or meters that measure speed, amperage, battery charge, or air pressure in brakelines or in main reservoirs.
- 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.
- Inspect locomotives after runs to detect damaged or defective equipment.
- Check to ensure that documentation, such as procedure manuals or logbooks, are in the driver’s cab and available for staff use.
- Drive diesel-electric rail-detector cars to transport rail-flaw-detecting machines over tracks.
Qualities of a Locomotive Engineer
These are the skills Locomotive Engineers say are the most useful in their careers:
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 for this Occupation:
- Rail Car Operator
- Locomotive Engineer
- Operator Engineer
- Narrow Gauge Engineer
Job Outlook for Locomotive Engineers
In the United States, there were 38,800 jobs for Locomotive Engineer in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Locomotive Engineer. There will be an estimated 3,000 positions for Locomotive Engineer per 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.
What is the Average Salary of a Locomotive Engineer
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|
What Tools do Locomotive Engineers Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Locomotive Engineers may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Data entry software
- Route mapping software
- Time tracking software
- Electronic train management systems ETMS
How do I Become a Locomotive Engineer?
Individuals working as a Locomotive Engineer have obtained the following education levels:
What work experience do I need to become a Locomotive Engineer?
Where do Locomotive Engineers Work?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Those thinking about becoming a Locomotive Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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