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Rail Car Repairer

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All About Rail Car Repairers

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

A Day in the Life of a Rail Car Repairer

  • Paint car exteriors, interiors, and fixtures.
  • Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Adjust repaired or replaced units as needed to ensure proper operation.
  • Align car sides for installation of car ends and crossties, using width gauges, turnbuckles, and wrenches.
  • Install and repair interior flooring, fixtures, walls, plumbing, steps, and platforms.
  • Repair, fabricate, and install steel or wood fittings, using blueprints, shop sketches, and instruction manuals.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Rail Car Repairer?

Below is a list of the skills most Rail Car Repairers say are important on the job.

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

  • Test Rack Operator
  • Coach Mechanic
  • Structural Repairer
  • Repair Technician
  • Air Compressor Mechanic

Job Outlook for Rail Car Repairers

In the United States, there were 22,300 jobs for Rail Car Repairer in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,300 job openings in this field each year.


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.

Rail Car Repairer Average Salary

The salary for Rail Car Repairers ranges between about $33,700 and $78,420 a year.


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Rail Car Repairers in different U.S. states.

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

What Tools & Technology do Rail Car Repairers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Rail Car Repairers may use on a daily basis:

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

Becoming 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?


Where Rail Car Repairers Are Employed


Rail Car Repairers work in the following industries:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Rail Car Repairer may also be interested in:

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.

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