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Locomotive Engineers

Also called: Conductor, Locomotive Engineer, Railroad Engineer, Transportation Specialist

Where in the military? In the military: see titles from the Army or Marine Corps.

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • Interpret train orders, signals, or railroad rules and regulations that govern the operation of locomotives.
  • Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
  • 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.


  • movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Controlled Movement
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
  • quickly decide if you should move your hand, foot, or other body part
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Visual Understanding
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Integrity
  • Cooperation
  • Stress Tolerance


You might use software like this on the job:

Expert system software
  • Electronic train management systems ETMS
Route navigation software
  • Route mapping software
Time accounting software
  • Time tracking software


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about locomotive engineers.