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All About Locomotive Firers

Example of a Locomotive Firer Job 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.

A Day in the Life of a Locomotive Firer

  • Inspect locomotives to detect damaged or worn parts.
  • 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.
  • Observe tracks from left sides of locomotives to detect obstructions on tracks.
  • Receive signals from workers in rear of train and relay that information to engineers.
  • Observe train signals along routes and verify their meanings for engineers.

What Every Locomotive Firer Should Know

Locomotive Firers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

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.

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

  • Steam Locomotive Firer/Fireman
  • Assistant Engineer
  • Railroad Firer/Fireman
  • Diesel Locomotive Firer
  • Railroad Firer

Job Outlook for Locomotive Firers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 1,200 jobs in the United States for Locomotive Firers.

Locomotive Firer jobs are decreasing by a rate of -78.6%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -900 jobs for Locomotive Firers by 2026. There will be an estimated positions for Locomotive Firer per year.

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

How Much Does a Locomotive Firer Make?

The average yearly salary of a Locomotive Firer ranges between $53,180 and $99,630. The median salary is $63,820.

Salary Ranges for Locomotive Firers

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary



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

Where Locomotive Firers Work

Locomotive Firer Sectors

Those interested in being a Locomotive Firer may also be interested in:

  • Pile-Driver Operators
  • Hazardous Materials Removal Workers


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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