Locomotive Engineer

Commuter Train Operator, Conductor/Engineer, Engineer/Conductor, Fuel Pilot Engineer   More Names
Locomotive Engineer Supervisor, Operator Engineer, Pilot Fuel Engineer, Rail Car Operator, Rail Signaling Specialist, Systems Engineer, Through Freight Engineer, Train Operator

Locomotive engineers operate commuter trains, and ensure the safe and efficient movement of the train and its passengers. The engineers work on trains that travel between cities, or between suburbs and large metropolitan areas. They drive trains powered by several power sources, including diesel, electric, and biodiesel. Throughout the trip, the engineers check train equipment and monitor gauges to ensure safe operation. Prior to departure, the engineers inspect the train and notify vehicle maintenance of any concerns.

Locomotive engineers operate under the supervision of the train conductors. They work long shifts, and may be on call 24/7. They communicate frequently with conductors aboard the train as well as dispatchers in control centers. They are promoted from the position of conductor.

Locomotive engineers should be detail-oriented, have a strong understanding of train operations and safety procedures, and the ability to keep to a schedule. Along with having good vision and hearing, they should have strong oral communication, record-keeping, and trouble-shooting skills.

Locomotive engineers must have a high school diploma or pass the general educational development (GED) exam. They also should have extensive training and experience in rail operations. Many employers are requiring locomotive engineers to obtain certification as a train operator (frequently from the Northeast Operating Rules Advisory Committee - NORAC). 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.

More Details
Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
-2% - Decline slowly or moderately
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $48,640 - $68,200    Hourly: $23 - $33

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

Physical/Medical/Health Requirements


Legal Requirements
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(Data Drawn from O*NET)

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

High School or GED (HS)
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Percent Job Growth:

-2% - Decline slowly or moderately
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $48,640 - $68,200

Hourly: $23 - $33