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.
- Interpret train orders, signals, or railroad rules and regulations that govern the operation of locomotives.
- Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
- 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.
- Monitor gauges or meters that measure speed, amperage, battery charge, or air pressure in brake lines or in main reservoirs.
Locomotive Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $46200 and $54630 while the more experienced ones can earn over $79460 per year.
|Top 5 paying states||Hourly||Annual|
One 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, WY, CA, SD and NY.
However, a higher pay at WA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at WA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.
Three 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.
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 a Post-Secondary 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|
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Locomotive Engineer.
|Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on 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 work-related 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)|
What is the job like
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
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..
They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.
command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, straits, or sounds, or on rivers, lakes, or bays. Must be licensed by U.S. Coast Guard with limitations indicating class and tonnage of vessels for which license is valid and route and waters that may be piloted.
load and unload chemicals and bulk solids, such as coal, sand, and grain into or from tank cars, trucks, or ships using material moving equipment. May perform a variety of other tasks relating to shipment of products. May gauge or sample shipping tanks and test them for leaks.
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.
supervise curbside and drop-off recycling programs for municipal governments or private firms.
collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck. May drive truck.
Related career information
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Conductor, Conductor/Engineer, Diesel Engine Operator, Diesel Engineer, Diesel Locomotive Engineer, Engine Pilot, Engineer/Conductor, Engineman, Freight Engineer, Fuel Pilot Engineer