Locomotive Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Locomotive Engineers jobs information
pros and cons of being a Locomotive Engineer

Locomotive Engineers

Other names for this job might include Conductor, Conductor/Engineer, Diesel Engine Operator, Diesel Engineer, Diesel Locomotive Engineer, Engine Pilot, Engineer/Conductor, Engineman, Freight Engineer, Fuel Pilot Engineer


  • $59360
    Salary
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

C



Locomotive Engineers: Know It All In 1 Minute


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.



Job description

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.


    Read more about what does A Locomotive Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


    Become one

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    Salary

    Average salary
    $59360 per year

    Hourly wage
    $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 statesHourlyAnnual
    WA$35.28$73390
    MS$32.39$67370
    KY$31.99$66540
    NJ$31.96$66470
    WI$31.74$66020

    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).

    Find out how much do successful Locomotive Engineers make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


    Requirements

    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.

    Railroad and Railway Transportation

    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
    Operation Monitoring
    Active Listening
    Speaking
    Critical Thinking

    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
    Dependability
    Self Control
    Integrity
    Cooperation
    = Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

    Read more about what it really takes to become A Locomotive Engineer and the degree, training and education you need


    Pros and Cons

    Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Locomotive Engineer as your career.

    PROS
    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.
    CONS
    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

    Job satisfaction
    61%

    Is this job meaningful
    47%


    Working hours
    More than 40 hours per week

    Working schedule
    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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    Yes, I'm sure


    Rank: D
    Salary: $55820

    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.
    Rank: D
    Salary: $52280

    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.
    Rank: D
    Salary: $53690

    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.
    Rank: D
    Salary: $44810

    They drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.
    Rank: C
    Salary: $59230

    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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    Job Description
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    Study To Be A Locomotive Engineer


    Related to Locomotive Engineers Career Information

    Locomotive Engineers job description, Locomotive Engineers salary, Locomotive Engineers information, what is the job of a Locomotive Engineer like, pros and cons about Locomotive Engineers, colleges and universities for Locomotive Engineers, is Locomotive Engineers the right career for me, Easy careers to get into, careers in Transportation

    Additional resources

    http://www.bls.gov/OOH/transportation-and-material-moving/railroad-occupations.htm
    http://www.amtrak.com/
    https://www.aar.org/

    OwlGuru.com
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    Locomotive Engineers
    Written by: Stanley Tan
    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.
    3.5 / 5 stars

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