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Rail Car Repairer

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What Does it Take to Be a Rail Car Repairer?

Rail Car Repairer Example Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.

Rail Car Repairer Responsibilities

  • Inspect the interior and exterior of rail cars coming into rail yards to identify defects and to determine the extent of wear and damage.
  • Measure diameters of axle wheel seats, using micrometers, and mark dimensions on axles so that wheels can be bored to specified dimensions.
  • Inspect components such as bearings, seals, gaskets, wheels, and coupler assemblies to determine if repairs are needed.
  • Record conditions of cars, and repair and maintenance work performed or to be performed.
  • Adjust repaired or replaced units as needed to ensure proper operation.
  • Test units for operability before and after repairs.

Rail Car Repairer Skills

These are the skills Rail Car Repairers say are the most useful in their careers:

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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

Other Rail Car Repairer Job Titles

  • Signal Fitter
  • Truck Mechanic
  • Railroad Brake Repairer
  • Air Valve Mechanic
  • Rail Car Maintenance Mechanic

Rail Car Repairer Employment Estimates

There were about 22,300 jobs for Rail Car Repairer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,100 new jobs for Rail Car Repairer by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,300 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Rail Car Repairer are Idaho, Utah, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, West Virginia, or North Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Rail Car Repairer

The typical yearly salary for Rail Car Repairers is somewhere between $33,700 and $78,420.


Rail Car Repairers who work in West Virginia, New York, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Rail Car Repairers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $49,690
Alaska $68,390
Arizona $56,200
Arkansas $55,650
California $55,320
Colorado $60,820
Florida $57,780
Georgia $46,500
Idaho $45,620
Illinois $52,920
Indiana $50,190
Iowa $48,680
Kansas $49,060
Kentucky $56,720
Louisiana $51,470
Maine $44,470
Maryland $65,350
Massachusetts $67,660
Michigan $55,880
Minnesota $58,240
Mississippi $45,830
Missouri $53,170
Montana $58,800
Nebraska $46,160
New Jersey $65,890
New Mexico $62,300
New York $71,250
North Carolina $44,740
North Dakota $54,150
Ohio $49,100
Oklahoma $52,460
Oregon $64,230
Pennsylvania $61,430
South Carolina $46,400
Tennessee $57,400
Texas $52,290
Utah $41,920
Virginia $62,300
Washington $58,090
West Virginia $66,810
Wisconsin $56,040
Wyoming $60,730

What Tools & Technology do Rail Car Repairers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Rail Car Repairers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox

Becoming a Rail Car Repairer

Individuals working as a Rail Car Repairer have obtained the following education levels:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Rail Car Repairer?


Where do Rail Car Repairers Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Rail Car Repairers employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Rail Car Repairer may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Rail Car Repairer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Margo Wright via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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