hourly pay for Locomotive Engineers
do Locomotive Engineers make a lot of money

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

  • $61020
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
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How Much Do Locomotive Engineers Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Locomotive Engineers make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Locomotive Engineer will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$61020 per year
Hourly wage
$29.340 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Locomotive Engineers make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Locomotive Engineers is $61020. Their salary can also be as low as $41720 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $85290 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $29.340 and can range from $20.060 to $41.010 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Locomotive Engineer will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Locomotive Engineer to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Locomotive Engineers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of B.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$41.010$85290
Senior (Top 25%)$32.790$68200
Middle (Mid 50%)$27.730$57670
Junior (Bottom 25%)$23.380$48640
No experience (Bottom 10%)$20.060$41720

Entry-level Locomotive Engineers who starts out at $48640 can expect to make $57670 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $20.060 per hour while the top 10% makes over $41.010 per hour.

While the median wage is $57670 per annum or $27.730 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing32.2567080
Cement and Concrete Product Manufacturing32.2567080
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals31.7866100
Local government, including schools and hospitals31.7866100
Federal, State, and Local Government29.8562100
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service29.8562100
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service29.8562100
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods27.8857990
Wholesale Trade27.7257650
Rail Transportation27.4857160
All industries27.4157000
Transportation and Warehousing27.3956980
All industries, private ownership only27.3956970
Primary Metal Manufacturing25.8453740
Federal Executive Branch25.4352900
Support Activities for Transportation21.945540
Support Activities for Rail Transportation21.945540
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation16.4234150
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land16.4234150

Not all industries pay the same for Locomotive Engineers.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Locomotive Engineer is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like WA doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at WA may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Locomotive Engineers are in the states of WA, MS, KY, NJ and WI. The average salary in WA is $73390.

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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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