In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Locomotive Engineer is about and what it is like.
After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.
Locomotive Engineers drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.
$59360 per year
$28.54 an hour
Locomotive Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $40490 and $46650 while the more experienced ones make over $66740 per year.
|Top 5 paying states||Hourly||Annual|
1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Locomotive Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like WA. Right now, the highest paying states for Locomotive Engineers are WA, MS, KY, NJ and WI.
However a higher pay at WA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at WA might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.
3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Locomotive Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).
Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)
We asked other Locomotive Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by Certificate.
Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.
Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Locomotive Engineer successful or would they be good in this career.
Well, we found that most successful Locomotive Engineers have these 5 skillsets.
|Operation and Control|
In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Locomotive Engineers is they are good at Attention to Detail. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.
|Attention to Detail |
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for
Pros and Cons
Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Locomotive Engineer as your career.
|Suitable for people who likes practical and handson work|
|Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment|
|This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.|
|It is easy to get into this career. Some previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.|
|Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs|
|Demand for this career is declining|
|Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)|
There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.
A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.
What is the job like
Is this job meaningful
More than 40 hours per week
Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)
On a normal working week Locomotive Engineers work More than 40 hours per week.
61% of Locomotive Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.
Is this right for me
Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers
You can read more about these career personality types here.
People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.
How we can help
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They coordinate activities of switch-engine crew within railroad yard, industrial plant, or similar location. Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight trains. Yardmasters review train schedules and switching orders and coordinate activities of workers engaged in railroad traffic operations, such as the makeup or breakup of trains and yard switching.
They operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.
They 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.
They drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.
They operate subway or elevated suburban trains with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar, to transport passengers. May handle fares.
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