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Locomotive Engineers

Drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.   (O'Net 53-4011.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Conductor, Conductor/Engineer, Diesel Engine Operator, Diesel Engineer, Diesel Locomotive Engineer, Engine Pilot   (view all job titles)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
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    Career Video
    related to Locomotive Engineers
    Locomotive Engineers and Railroad Conductors photo Locomotive Engineers and Railroad Conductors
    Transportation, Distribution and Logistics photo Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
    Additional videos and more information available at
     


    Wages
    for Locomotive Engineers
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 15.36   $ 17.32   $ 24.89   $ 28.12   $ 30.00   $ 22.49  
    Yearly $31,950   $36,030   $51,780   $58,480   $62,400   $46,770  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Locomotive Engineers
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    No trend data for this occupation.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Locomotive Engineers
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Rail transportation 96.9%
    Support activities for transportation 1.2%
    Local government, excluding education and hospitals 0.5%
    Primary metal manufacturing 0.3%
    Scenic and sightseeing transportation 0.2%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Monitor gauges or meters that measure speed, amperage, battery charge, or air pressure in brakelines or in main reservoirs.
     
  • Observe tracks to detect obstructions.
     
  • Interpret train orders, signals, or railroad rules and regulations that govern the operation of locomotives.
     
  • Receive starting signals from conductors and use controls such as throttles or air brakes to drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas turbine-electric locomotives.
     
  • Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
     
  • Operate locomotives to transport freight or passengers between stations or to assemble or disassemble trains within rail yards.
     
  • Respond to emergency conditions or breakdowns, following applicable safety procedures and rules.
     
  • Check to ensure that brake examination tests are conducted at shunting stations.
     
  • Call out train signals to assistants to verify meanings.
     
  • Inspect locomotives to verify adequate fuel, sand, water, or other supplies before each run or to check for mechanical problems.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated December 2006
     


    Knowledge
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
     
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
     
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated December 2006
     


    Skills
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated June 2010
     


    Abilities
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
     
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
     
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
     
  • Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
     
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
     
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
     
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated December 2006
     


    Work Activities
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
     
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
  • Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
     
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated December 2006
     


    Interests
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
     
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated December 2006
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Locomotive Engineers
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    No state licenses listed for this occupation.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  •  
  • Training: Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  •  
  • Experience: Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers  updated December 2006
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Locomotive Engineers
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Railroad and Railway Transportation. (NEW)
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Locomotive Engineers
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Locomotive Engineers.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Locomotive Engineers :
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Locomotive Engineers
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  • Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assemblers
  •  
  • Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders
  •  
  • Chemical Plant and System Operators
  •  
  • Locomotive Firers
  •  
  • Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
  •  
  • Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
  •  
  • Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters
  •  
  • Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  •  
  • Subway and Streetcar Operators
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Locomotive Engineers 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor