What Do Locomotive Engineers Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Locomotive Engineer
are Locomotive Engineers happy with their job

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



Being A Locomotive Engineer: What You Really Do


In this job description guide, you will find out what do Locomotive Engineers do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Locomotive Engineer or not.



Job summary

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.

We asked Locomotive Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

47%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical day

On a daily basis, Locomotive Engineers Monitor gauges or meters that measure speed, amperage, battery charge, or air pressure in brakelines or in main reservoirs. They Observe tracks to detect obstructions.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Locomotive Engineer is to Interpret train orders, signals, or railroad rules and regulations that govern the operation of locomotives.

Some may also Receive starting signals from conductors and use controls such as throttles or air brakes to drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas turbine-electric locomotives.

In a normal work day, another thing that Locomotive Engineers do is they Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.

In addition to that, they Operate locomotives to transport freight or passengers between stations or to assemble or disassemble trains within rail yards..

A typical day for A Locomotive Engineer look like this:

Monitor equipment gauges or displays to ensure proper operation.
Monitor surroundings to detect potential hazards.
Receive information or instructions for performing work assignments.

We asked some Locomotive Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?67% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?28% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?79% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?93% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?61% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?23% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?10% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?76% said yes



Other responsibilities




Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)


In a typical work week as A Locomotive Engineer, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Locomotive Engineers work in an office-style work environment?

Everyday
10.58%

Once a week
2.39%

Once a month
0%

Once a year
0%

Never
87.03%

Do Locomotive Engineers work in a warehouse-style work environment?

Everyday
52.89%

Once a week
5.95%

Once a month
3.89%

Once a year
0%

Never
37.27%

Do Locomotive Engineers work outdoors?

Everyday
78.93%

Once a week
7.02%

Once a month
0%

Once a year
7.02%

Never
7.02%



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.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes 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.

You also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.



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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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Related to Locomotive Engineers Job Description

Locomotive Engineers job description, what do Locomotive Engineers do, typical day for Locomotive Engineers, what is it like to work as a Locomotive Engineer, how many hours do Locomotive Engineers work, day to day work of a Locomotive Engineer

Additional resources

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

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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.
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