Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Rail Car Repairer

Find Schools Near

What is a Rail Car Repairer?

Career Description Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.

Life As a Rail Car Repairer: What Do They Do?

  • Repair and maintain electrical and electronic controls for propulsion and braking systems.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, and clean units and components.
  • Examine car roofs for wear and damage, and repair defective sections, using roofing material, cement, nails, and waterproof paint.
  • Align car sides for installation of car ends and crossties, using width gauges, turnbuckles, and wrenches.
  • Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Measure diameters of axle wheel seats, using micrometers, and mark dimensions on axles so that wheels can be bored to specified dimensions.

Rail Car Repairer Skills

When polled, Rail Car Repairers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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

Types of Rail Car Repairer

  • Plow Mechanic
  • Car Builder
  • Interlocking and Signal Mechanic
  • Railroad Brake Repairer
  • Locomotive Mechanic Apprentice

Rail Car Repairer Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 22,300 jobs in the United States for Rail Car Repairer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,100 new jobs for Rail Car Repairer by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,300 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Rail Car Repairer are Idaho, Utah, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, West Virginia, or North Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Rail Car Repairer

The average yearly salary of a Rail Car Repairer ranges between $33,700 and $78,420.


Rail Car Repairers who work in West Virginia, New York, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Rail Car Repairers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $49,690
Alaska $68,390
Arizona $56,200
Arkansas $55,650
California $55,320
Colorado $60,820
Florida $57,780
Georgia $46,500
Idaho $45,620
Illinois $52,920
Indiana $50,190
Iowa $48,680
Kansas $49,060
Kentucky $56,720
Louisiana $51,470
Maine $44,470
Maryland $65,350
Massachusetts $67,660
Michigan $55,880
Minnesota $58,240
Mississippi $45,830
Missouri $53,170
Montana $58,800
Nebraska $46,160
New Jersey $65,890
New Mexico $62,300
New York $71,250
North Carolina $44,740
North Dakota $54,150
Ohio $49,100
Oklahoma $52,460
Oregon $64,230
Pennsylvania $61,430
South Carolina $46,400
Tennessee $57,400
Texas $52,290
Utah $41,920
Virginia $62,300
Washington $58,090
West Virginia $66,810
Wisconsin $56,040
Wyoming $60,730

Tools & Technologies Used by Rail Car Repairers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Rail Car Repairers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox

How do I Become a Rail Car Repairer?

Individuals working as a Rail Car Repairer have obtained the following education levels:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Rail Car Repairer?


Rail Car Repairers Sector


The table below shows the approximate number of Rail Car Repairers employed by various industries.


Those thinking about becoming a Rail Car Repairer might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Rail Car Repairer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Margo Wright via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.