General Repair Mechanic - Rail

Automotive Repair Technician, Engine Specialist, Mechanic-LVR  

Rail general repair mechanics provide preventive maintenance, inspection, troubleshooting, repair, and maintenance of rail vehicles, systems, and components. They perform technician-level diagnosis of rail car vehicle malfunctions, determine the cause, and make necessary repairs to rail car systems, including propulsion, traction motors, brakes, air compressors, couplers, doors, HVAC, auxiliary power, and all other related electromechanical components. They perform preventative maintenance inspections and repairs, and remove and replace malfunctioning components of vehicles. They also may be responsible for changing tires, replacing windows, and repairing interiors and body damage. Some of these workers are engine specialists who tear down, diagnose, repair, test, and service vehicle engines and other components, such as turbos, blowers, heads, fan drivers, water pumps, and piston and liner kits.

Rail general repair mechanics must have mathematical skills, including decimals and percentages, and verbal and written communication skills. The repair mechanics must be able to understand and follow written, oral, and demonstrated instructions; write clear documentation of work performed; and read and understand schematics and technical service manuals. They must be able to find solutions to mechanical and technical problems and understand and follow rules, regulations, and safety practices and procedures. They must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers and supervisors, and work alone and as part of a team.

All employers require a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) certificate. Some request one year of diesel technology coursework, or prior experience in diesel and engine rebuilding procedures, or require an associate's degree in electronics technology or mechanical technology. Many industry employers provide on-the-job training, but click on the "get qualified" tab above to see additional resources for job preparation and training, as well as available educational programs in your area.

More Details
Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
5% - Slower than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $28,140 - $52,120    Hourly: $14 - $25

Note:  There may be opportunities for overtime work and overtime pay in this occupation.

Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

- Physical requirements established by a state's Department of Transportation
- Ability to perform heavy manual labor, including lifting heavy objects and exerting force
- Ability to handle exposure to dirt, noise, fumes, temperature extremes, dampness, engine vibrations, and chemical solvents
- Ability to work in crowded and tight spaces, tunnels, and aerial structures, and around moving forklifts and overhead cranes
- Ability to balance, kneel, crouch, stoop, and stand

Legal Requirements

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

Certificate (High School + 0-4 years, Certificate awarded)
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Percent Job Growth:

5% - Slower than average
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Typical Wages:

Annual: $28,140 - $52,120

Hourly: $14 - $25