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Locomotive Firer

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What is a Locomotive Firer?

Job Description & Duties 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.

Life As a Locomotive Firer: What Do They Do?

  • Inspect locomotives to detect damaged or worn parts.
  • Start diesel engines to warm engines before runs.
  • Check to see that trains are equipped with supplies such as fuel, water, and sand.
  • Observe tracks from left sides of locomotives to detect obstructions on tracks.
  • Monitor oil, temperature, and pressure gauges on dashboards to determine if engines are operating safely and efficiently.
  • Monitor trains as they go around curves to detect dragging equipment and smoking journal boxes.

Locomotive Firer Required Skills

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.

  • Electric Locomotive Firer/Fireman
  • Dinkey Engine Firer/Fireman
  • Assistant Engineer
  • Fireman
  • Shop Firer/Fireman

Is There Job Demand for Locomotive Firers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 1,200 jobs in the United States for Locomotive Firer. 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.

What is the Average Salary of a Locomotive Firer

The average yearly salary of a Locomotive Firer ranges between $53,180 and $99,630.


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 & Technology 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

Becoming a Locomotive Firer

What kind of Locomotive Firer requirements are there?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Locomotive Firers Are Employed


Below are examples of industries where Locomotive Firers work:


Other Jobs You May 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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