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Locomotive Firer

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What Does it Take to Be a Locomotive Firer?

Job Description: 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.

List of Locomotive Firer Job Duties

  • Monitor oil, temperature, and pressure gauges on dashboards to determine if engines are operating safely and efficiently.
  • Start diesel engines to warm engines before runs.
  • Receive signals from workers in rear of train and relay that information to engineers.
  • Observe tracks from left sides of locomotives to detect obstructions on tracks.
  • Monitor trains as they go around curves to detect dragging equipment and smoking journal boxes.
  • Operate locomotives in emergency situations.

Qualities of a Locomotive Firer

These are the skills Locomotive Firers say are the most useful in their careers:

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

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

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Locomotive Firer Jobs

  • Dinkey Engine Firer
  • Diesel Locomotive Firer/Fireman
  • Diesel Locomotive Firer
  • Firer
  • Engineer Assistant

Job Opportunities for Locomotive Firers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 1,200 jobs in the United States for Locomotive Firer. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Locomotive Firer.


The states with the most job growth for Locomotive Firer are Idaho and Indiana. Watch out if you plan on working in Indiana or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Locomotive Firer

The average yearly salary of a Locomotive Firer ranges between $53,180 and $99,630.


Locomotive Firers who work in Alabama, make the highest salaries.

How much do Locomotive Firers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $66,810

Tools & Technologies Used by Locomotive Firers

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

  • Data entry software
  • Route mapping software
  • Time tracking software

Becoming a Locomotive Firer

Learn what Locomotive Firer education requirements there are.


How Long Does it Take to Become a Locomotive Firer?


Where do Locomotive Firers Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Locomotive Firers employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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


Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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