Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Locomotive Engineers

Find Schools Near

All About Locomotive Engineers

Career Description 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.

List of Locomotive Engineer Job Duties

  • Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
  • Interpret train orders, signals, or railroad rules and regulations that govern the operation of locomotives.
  • Inspect locomotives after runs to detect damaged or defective equipment.
  • Observe tracks to detect obstructions.
  • 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.
  • Respond to emergency conditions or breakdowns, following applicable safety procedures and rules.

Skills Needed to be a Locomotive Engineer

When polled, Locomotive Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

  • Relay Motorman
  • Passenger Locomotive Engineer
  • Narrow Gauge Operator
  • Motor Operator
  • Rail Car Operator

Locomotive Engineer Job Outlook

There were about 38,800 jobs for Locomotive Engineers in 2016 (in the United States).

Locomotive Engineer jobs are decreasing by a rate of -2.8%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -1,100 jobs for Locomotive Engineers by 2026. The BLS estimates 3,000 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Locomotive Engineers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Locomotive Engineers are Texas, Illinois, and Nebraska.

Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, Louisiana, or Tennessee. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Locomotive Engineer Salary

The salary for Locomotive Engineers ranges between about $46,200 and $97,890 a year. The median salary is $62,100.

Salary Ranges for Locomotive Engineers

How much do Locomotive Engineers make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Washington

$85,160

Wyoming

$80,610

California

$80,330

South Dakota

$77,640

New York

$77,150

New Mexico

$75,490

Maryland

$75,270

Delaware

$75,030

Massachusetts

$74,190

Pennsylvania

$71,890

Missouri

$71,260

Illinois

$71,000

Tennessee

$70,970

Virginia

$69,990

Kansas

$69,420

Iowa

$68,110

Nebraska

$66,760

Arkansas

$66,410

Arizona

$66,350

Minnesota

$66,340

Texas

$65,660

Ohio

$65,400

Michigan

$65,030

Montana

$64,700

Alabama

$64,670

Wisconsin

$63,520

Florida

$62,520

New Jersey

$61,310

West Virginia

$60,730

South Carolina

$60,420

Idaho

$60,160

Indiana

$59,180

Oregon

$58,690

North Carolina

$58,670

Kentucky

$58,160

Utah

$57,290

Georgia

$56,090

Oklahoma

$51,650

New Hampshire

$45,100

What Tools do Locomotive Engineers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Locomotive Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Data entry software

How do I Become a Locomotive Engineer?

Individuals working as Locomotive Engineers have obtained the following education levels:

Locomotive Engineer Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Locomotive Engineer?

Locomotive Engineer Work Experience

Where Locomotive Engineers Work

Locomotive Engineer Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming Locomotive Engineers might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Crane and Tower Operators

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder has matched thousands of students with colleges.