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Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler

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Life As a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler

Occupation Description Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.

Life As a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler: What Do They Do?

  • Observe water levels and oil, air, and steam pressure gauges to ensure proper operation of equipment.
  • Pull knuckles to open them for coupling.
  • Spot cars for loading and unloading at customer locations.
  • Inspect track for defects such as broken rails and switch malfunctions.
  • Read switching instructions and daily car schedules to determine work to be performed, or receive orders from yard conductors.
  • Drive engines within railroad yards or other establishments to couple, uncouple, or switch railroad cars.

Things a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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.

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

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

Types of Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler

  • Conductor
  • Switcher
  • Diesel Dinkey Operator
  • Slag Motor Operator
  • Mine Motor Engineer

Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 4,400 jobs in the United States for Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler by 2026. There will be an estimated 400 positions for Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler are South Carolina, Texas, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in West Virginia, Minnesota, or Michigan. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler Make?

The average yearly salary of a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler ranges between $33,280 and $81,380.

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Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers who work in South Carolina, New York, or Alabama, make the highest salaries.

How much do Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $56,960
Arkansas $40,320
California $55,480
Colorado $36,980
Florida $54,890
Georgia $41,010
Illinois $58,140
Indiana $59,130
Kentucky $49,940
Massachusetts $61,180
Michigan $40,570
Minnesota $55,740
Missouri $44,900
Nebraska $58,090
New York $72,370
North Carolina $45,740
Ohio $56,780
Oklahoma $71,640
Pennsylvania $50,650
South Carolina $73,390
Tennessee $52,250
Texas $51,140
Utah $44,380
West Virginia $50,040

Tools & Technologies Used by Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers may use on a daily basis:

  • Web browser software

How do I Become a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler?

Individuals working as a Rail Yard Engineer, Dinkey Operator, or Hostler have obtained the following education levels:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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References:

Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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