Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers jobs information
pros and cons of being a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator and Hostler

Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers

Other names for this job might include Car Barn Laborer, Car Mover, Car Repairman, Coal Tram Driver, Coal Trammer, Conductor, Diesel Dinkey Engineer, Diesel Dinkey Operator, Dinkey Driver, Dinkey Engine Operator

  • $47600
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Rail Yard Engineers: Know It All In 1 Minute

In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Rail Yard Engineer is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.

Job description

Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.

    Read more about what does A Rail Yard Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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    Average salary
    $47600 per year
    Hourly wage
    $22.88 an hour

    Rail Yard Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $24720 and $36590 while the more experienced ones make over $56370 per year.

    Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual

    1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Rail Yard Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like OR. Right now, the highest paying states for Rail Yard Engineers are OR, NY, FL, OH and SC.

    However a higher pay at OR doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at OR might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

    3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Rail Yard Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

    Find out how much do successful Rail Yard Engineers make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


    Recommended degree level
    High School Diploma (or GED)

    We asked other Rail Yard Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by Some college courses.

    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

    Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Rail Yard Engineer successful or would they be good in this career.

    Well, we found that most successful Rail Yard Engineers have these 5 skillsets.

    Operation Monitoring
    Operation and Control
    Active Listening

    In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Rail Yard Engineers is they are good at Attention to Detail. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

    Attention to Detail
    Self Control
    = Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

    Read more about what it really takes to become A Rail Yard Engineer and the degree, training and education you need

    Pros and Cons

    Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Rail Yard Engineer as your career.

    Suitable for people who likes practical and handson 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 workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
    Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
    Salary is below average
    Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

    There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

    A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.

    What is the job like

    Job satisfaction
    Is this job meaningful

    Working hours
    More than 40 hours per week
    Working schedule
    Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)

    On a normal working week Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers work More than 40 hours per week.

    61% of Rail Yard 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

    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. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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

    How we can help

    Start your journey to be A Rail Yard Engineer

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    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: C
    Salary: $50740

    They 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.
    Rank: C
    Salary: $57000

    They 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.
    Rank: D
    Salary: $37910

    They maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement, repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear brush from along road or plow snow from roadway.

    Trusted by over 50,000 fans

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    Career type

    Transportation Transportation Operations

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    Related to Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers Career Information

    Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers job description, Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers salary, Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers information, what is the job of a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator and Hostler like, pros and cons about Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers, colleges and universities for Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators and Hostlers, is Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers the right career for me, Easy careers to get into, careers in Transportation

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