Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers

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What do they do?

Operate or monitor railroad track switches or locomotive instruments. May couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Watch for and relay traffic signals. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes. May watch for dragging equipment or obstacles on rights-of-way.

Also known as:

Brakeman, Carman, Fireman, Locomotive Switch Operator, Railroad Brakeman, Railroad Switchman, Terminal Carman, Trainman

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Locomotive Firers is projected to Decline 60 percent from 2018 to 2028

★ You’re seeing projected growth rate for Locomotive Firers because we don’t have information for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers.
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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For All United States:

  • -60%

    Percent Change

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  • 0

    Annual Projected Job Openings

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★ You’re seeing projected employment information for Locomotive Firers because we don’t have information for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers.

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Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

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★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, All, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (0.1%)
  • Master's degree (2.7%)
  • Bachelor's degree (12.5%)
  • Associate's degree (11%)
  • Some college, no degree (33%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (37.7%)
  • Less than high school diploma (3.1%)

Percent of workers in this field

★ You’re seeing education information for Railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers(1) because we don’t have information for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

Colleges that Prepare

Colleges with the most graduates that become Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Operations Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • 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.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • 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.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Monitor traffic signals.
  • Signal others to coordinate vehicle movement.
  • Operate locomotives or other rail vehicles.
  • Control equipment that regulates vehicle traffic.
  • Observe equipment in operation to detect potential problems.
  • Inspect locomotives or other railroad equipment.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 26.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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