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All About Locomotive Firers

Locomotive Firer Job Description Monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. Watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineer in railroad yard.

List of Locomotive Firer Job Duties

  • Monitor trains as they go around curves to detect dragging equipment and smoking journal boxes.
  • Start diesel engines to warm engines before runs.
  • Receive signals from workers in rear of train and relay that information to engineers.
  • Observe train signals along routes and verify their meanings for engineers.
  • Check to see that trains are equipped with supplies such as fuel, water, and sand.
  • Signal other workers to set brakes and to throw track switches when switching cars from trains to way stations.

Skills Needed to be a Locomotive Firer

Locomotive Firers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Steam Locomotive Firer/Fireman
  • Assistant Passenger Locomotive Engineer
  • Shop Firer/Fireman
  • Engineer Assistant
  • Fireman

Are There Job Opportunities for Locomotive Firers?

In the United States, there were 1,200 jobs for Locomotive Firer in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Locomotive Firer.


The states with the most job growth for Locomotive Firer are Idaho and Indiana. Watch out if you plan on working in Indiana or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Locomotive Firer Salary

Locomotive Firers make between $53,180 and $99,630 a year.


Locomotive Firers who work in Alabama, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Locomotive Firers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $66,810

What Tools do Locomotive Firers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Locomotive Firers may use on a daily basis:

  • Data entry software
  • Route mapping software
  • Time tracking software

How to Become a Locomotive Firer

Education needed to be a Locomotive Firer:


What work experience do I need to become a Locomotive Firer?


Where do Locomotive Firers Work?


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Locomotive Firer might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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