what degree do you need to become a Locomotive Engineer
majors for Locomotive Engineers

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
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
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Be A Locomotive Engineer: What You Really Need

In this requirements guide for Locomotive Engineers, you will find out what do you need to become a Locomotive Engineer and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Locomotive Engineer.

Degree required

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

High School Diploma


Some college courses

No degree

Associates degree

Generally, employers are looking for Locomotive Engineers who have a High School Diploma. They also prefer someone who is good in Operation Monitoring and Operation and Control.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Locomotive Engineer or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Locomotive Engineers what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Railroad and Railway Transportation

Some rail companies require a high school diploma or equivalent, especially for locomotive engineers and conductors. Other positions may not have any formal education requirements.


schools for Locomotive Engineers

Interested in becoming A Locomotive Engineer? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

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How long does it take


You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Locomotive Engineer.

For example: A bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

To become A Locomotive Engineer, you will need anywhere from a few months to 1 year of working in this field.

How long does it take
9 to 18 months

Work experience
3 to 6 months

1 to 2 years

No experience

2 to 4 years

6 months to 1 year

4 to 6 years

Job training
6 months to 1 year

3 to 6 months

6 months to 1 year

1 to 3 months

1 to 2 years

4 to 10 years

Most Locomotive Engineers have 3 to 6 months work experience and 6 months to 1 year job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification

Locomotive engineers must be certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The certification, conducted by the railroad that employs them, involves a written knowledge test, a skills test, and a supervisor determining that the engineer understands all physical aspects of the particular route on which he or she will be operating.

Skills required

We asked other Locomotive Engineers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Operation Monitoring what does this mean
2.Operation and Control what does this mean
3.Active Listening what does this mean
4.Critical Thinking what does this mean
5.Monitoring what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Locomotive Engineers have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Attention to Detail and Dependability.

1.Attention to Detail
3.Self Control

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Locomotive Engineers you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Transportation what does this mean
2.Public Safety and Security what does this mean
3.English Language what does this mean
4.Education and Training what does this mean
5.Mechanical what does this mean

As A Locomotive Engineer, you may also be required to know how to use certain Data base user interface and query software, Expert system software and Spreadsheet software tools.

Data entry software (Data base user interface and query software)
Electronic train management systems ETMS (Expert system software)
Microsoft Excel (Spreadsheet software)
Microsoft Word (Word processing software)
Route mapping software (Route navigation software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

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Related to Locomotive Engineers Requirements

Locomotive Engineers requirements, how to become Locomotive Engineers, degree required to be a Locomotive Engineer, Locomotive Engineers license and certifications, majors to be a Locomotive Engineer, is it hard to become a Locomotive Engineer and how long does it take

Additional resources

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