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Rail Car Repairer

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What Do Rail Car Repairer Do?

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

Life As a Rail Car Repairer

  • Repair and maintain electrical and electronic controls for propulsion and braking systems.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, and clean units and components.
  • Disassemble units such as water pumps, control valves, and compressors so that repairs can be made.
  • Repair window sash frames, attach weather stripping and channels to frames, and replace window glass, using hand tools.
  • Inspect the interior and exterior of rail cars coming into rail yards to identify defects and to determine the extent of wear and damage.
  • Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.

Skills Needed to be a Rail Car Repairer

Rail Car Repairers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

  • Tipple Mechanic
  • Controller Mechanic
  • Repair Technician
  • Streetcar Repairer
  • Subway Car Repairer

Is There Going to be Demand for Rail Car Repairers?

In the United States, there were 22,300 jobs for Rail Car Repairer in 2016. 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. The BLS estimates 2,300 yearly job openings in this field.


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.

Rail Car Repairer Average Salary

The average yearly salary of a Rail Car Repairer ranges between $33,700 and $78,420.


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Rail Car Repairers in different U.S. states.

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 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

How to Become a Rail Car Repairer

What education is needed to be a Rail Car Repairer?


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


Where do Rail Car Repairers Work?


Below are examples of industries where Rail Car Repairers work:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Rail Car Repairer might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Rail Car Repairer sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Margo Wright via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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