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Find out how you can land a job as engineer in the railroad industry. Learn what a railroad engineer does, how to obtain railroad engineer training and understand the railroad engineer salary strucutre.

A railroad engineer is responsible for the movement of the train from point of origin to destination. Railroad engineers operate, or drive, the locomotives to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, and/or freight.

The railroad engineer works together with the conductor to discuss timetables, routes and cargo. Some regional and shortline railroads combine engineer and conductor duties into one position.

Railroad Engineer Job Duties

The railroad engineer is in charge of and responsible for all aspects of the locomotive. A railroad engineer's job duties may include, but are not limited to communicating with the conductor regarding train orders; complying with all orders, rules, regulations, signals and speed limits; checking the mechanical condition of the locomotive; documenting any and all issues; moving throttles and air brakes; monitoring gauges; monitoring speed; comprehensive knowledge of route and condition of track; awareness of condition and makeup of the train.

As with most railroad jobs, a railroad engineer does not work a 9 to 5 schedule. Railroads operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and railroad engineers are needed whenever trains are operating. Beginning engineers will be placed on the 'extra' board, and must be available when needed.

Railroad Engineer Training

A train engineer is generally promoted from within the company, after having worked the way up the ranks. Individuals who become railroad engineers often start out in entry-level positions such as brakeman or signal operator, before becoming a conductor, and then an engineer.

Railroad engineers must be certified. Most railroads have training programs for engineers, but training programs are also available through the National Academy of Railroad Sciences. Railroad engineers must be re-certified every two to three years.

Railroad Engineer Salary

Railroad Engineers can expect a minimum salary of approximately $50,000 per year. Salary can vary depending on location, territory and size of the railroad. [Source: www.salary.com]

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