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Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler

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Life As a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler

Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler Definition Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.

Daily Life Of a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler

  • Ride on moving cars by holding onto grab irons and standing on ladder steps.
  • Spot cars for loading and unloading at customer locations.
  • Apply and release hand brakes.
  • Observe and respond to wayside and cab signals, including color light signals, position signals, torpedoes, flags, and hot box detectors.
  • Confer with conductors and other workers via radiotelephones or computers to exchange switching information.
  • Signal crew members for movement of engines or trains, using lanterns, hand signals, radios, or telephones.

Things a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler Should Know How to Do

Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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.

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

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

Types of Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler Jobs

  • Rail Switchman
  • Ingot Buggy Operator
  • Yard Switcher
  • Diesel Dinkey Operator
  • Dump Motorman

Are There Job Opportunities for Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers?

In the United States, there were 4,400 jobs for Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 400 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler are South Carolina, Texas, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in West Virginia, Minnesota, or Michigan. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers Salary

The average yearly salary of a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler ranges between $33,280 and $81,380.

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Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers who work in South Carolina, New York, or Alabama, make the highest salaries.

How much do Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $56,960
Arkansas $40,320
California $55,480
Colorado $36,980
Florida $54,890
Georgia $41,010
Illinois $58,140
Indiana $59,130
Kentucky $49,940
Massachusetts $61,180
Michigan $40,570
Minnesota $55,740
Missouri $44,900
Nebraska $58,090
New York $72,370
North Carolina $45,740
Ohio $56,780
Oklahoma $71,640
Pennsylvania $50,650
South Carolina $73,390
Tennessee $52,250
Texas $51,140
Utah $44,380
West Virginia $50,040

What Tools & Technology do Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers may use on a daily basis:

  • Web browser software

Becoming a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler

What kind of Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler requirements are there?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers Work?

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

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References:

Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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