Locomotive Engineer Salary
Job Description for Locomotive Engineer
A locomotive engineer is in charge of safely and efficiently operating a the locomotive car, which provides the forward motion, speed and steering control for the entire train. Locomotives are typically associated with freight trains that operate across older non-electric, non-magnetic rail lines, although many passenger lines in the United States still use locomotive cars. The engineer essentially drives the train from the locomotive, helping ensure that controls for speed and braking are properly applied and that the the train is properly switched from track to track as necessary. Because trains operate on tracks, the engineer's steering is typically related to speed control and awareness of how the train's weight and mass affect its momentum.Read More...
Throughout freight trips, the engineer monitors the locomotive's performance and engine through gauges and readouts, watching for potential problems such as overheating or underperformance. Most train routes have suggested safe speed maximums and/or minimums, and it is the engineer's job to ensure that the train is within those limits. The engineer also makes sure their train operates within a set schedule and monitors fuel use. They maintain contact with controllers at stations along their route to ensure the train is properly switched from track to track as necessary. Additionally, the locomotive engineer regularly performs internal and external inspections of the locomotive and the train in general to make sure that wheels, couplings and truck suspensions are sound and in good working order.
To work as a locomotive engineer, a person typically has relevant education from a trade schools or technical college. Additionally, experience as an assistant or conductor on trains may be needed. Most engineers work long shifts, typically traveling between destinations. A typical schedule has them working many days consecutively followed by multiple days off.
Locomotive Engineer Tasks
- Work with conductors and groundsmen via radio to communicate information concerning schedules, stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
- Observe tracks to detect obstructions or inoperable railroad switches.
- Operate the train according to all railroad rules and regulations.
- Perform necessary minor repairs in order to keep the train running on time.
Locomotive Engineer Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Locomotive Engineer
Locomotive Engineers flock to BNSF Railway Company, Union Pacific Railroad, Norfolk Southern Corporation, CSX Corp, and Canadian Pacific (CP), highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Union Pacific Railroad does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $108K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $61K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $127K.
Pay by Experience Level for Locomotive Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $68K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $75K on average. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $88K in this role. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $87K.
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