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Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, & Hostlers

Also called: Engineer, Railcar Switcher, Railroad Engineer, Switchman

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What they do:
Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.
On the job, you would:
  • Observe and respond to wayside and cab signals, including color light signals, position signals, torpedoes, flags, and hot box detectors.
  • Inspect engines before and after use to ensure proper operation.
  • Apply and release hand brakes.

Knowledge

Transportation
  • movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security
Business
  • management
  • customer service
Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical

Skills

Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • talking to others
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it

Abilities

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
Verbal
  • listen and understand what people say
  • communicate by speaking
Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady
Attention
  • pay attention to something without being distracted

Personality

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
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Self Control

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Facilities management software
  • Railcar inspection management software
Internet browser software
  • Web browser software
Data base user interface and query software
  • Railyard management software RMS

Education

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

Get started on your career:

Find Training Apprenticeship.gov

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$51,720
$35,980
$81,010
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

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See more details at O*NET OnLine about rail yard engineers, dinkey operators, and hostlers.