Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.

  • Patrol assigned track sections so that damaged or broken track can be located and reported.
  • Repair or adjust track switches, using wrenches and replacement parts.
  • Weld sections of track together, such as switch points and frogs.
  • Observe leveling indicator arms to verify levelness and alignment of tracks.
Read more about what does a Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$57120 per year

Average hourly wage
$27 per hour

Track Equipment Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $33970 and $44210 while the more experienced ones can earn over $69460 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
MA $37 $76,360
NY $33 $69,080
WY $32 $65,850
OR $30 $62,680
MD $29 $60,500

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operator is to move to a higher paying state like MA. Right now, the highest paying states for Track Equipment Operators are MA, NY, WY, OR and MD.

However, a higher pay at MA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Track Equipment Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by less than a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation
Read more about how to become a Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operator and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operator.

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.
Normal working hours (40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

63% of Track Equipment Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 56% 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..

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

Learn more about Track Equipment Operators

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Related career information

Track Equipment Operators job description, Track Equipment Operators salary, Track Equipment Operators information, what is the job of a Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operator like, pros and cons about Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators, colleges and universities for Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators, is Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators the right career for me, careers in Construction and Extraction

Similar careers

Ballast Cleaning Machine Operator, Emergency Service Restorer, Machine Operator, Oil Distributor Tender, Operator, Portable Grinding Machine Operator, Rail Maintenance Worker, Rail Track Layer, Rail Track Maintainer, Railroad Track Mechanic

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