Locomotive engineers are responsible for driving passenger or freight trains between stations. They may drive diesel-electric engines as well as those powered by electricity and battery. Typical duties may include monitoring instruments (such as air pressure, speed and battery use), operating the train using a variety of controls and communicating with dispatchers about schedule changes or delays.
There are a number of important qualities that should be included in your locomotive engineer job description. They must be able to make decisions in a moment’s notice and have good vision and hearing. Because they work with complex machines, engineers must have the mechanical skills necessary to adjust broken equipment.
Locomotive engineers should be good communicators, have leadership skills and be able to deal with all types of customers. Get an idea of how to include these qualities in your locomotive engineer job description by consulting the following example.
Locomotive Engineer Job Summary
Do you love trains and working with others? As a locomotive engineer for our rail service, you will be responsible for the reliable and safe operation of our commuter trains. You will be in charge of inspecting fares and interacting with customers in a professional and courteous manner. Your proficient ability to coordinate and control train movements will ensure that our customers enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride to their destination. A good track record with this position can lead to promotion as a designated supervisor or manager. We also offer great health benefits, retirement packages, paid-time off and paid holidays.
- Communicate with traffic control center staff via radio to receive or issue information concerning oncoming trains, delays or stops
- Use controls, such as air brakes or throttles, to drive turbine-electric or diesel-electric locomotives; monitor meters or gauges that calculate amperage, speed, air pressure or battery charge
- Apply knowledge of territory, including grades, terrain, curves and grade crossings, to operate train safely and give warning signals; observe track to identify obstructions and anticipate operating issues
- Inspect locomotive, before and after runs, in terms of company and Federal Railroad Administration-required tests and checks; follow all local, state and federal regulations in terms of safety
- Diagnose minor breakdowns and perform minor service and maintenance when required; report major mechanical malfunctions and coordinate with associated departments to correct safety and mechanical issues as needed
- Communicate with train passengers about unscheduled delays, stops and any safety concerns
- Ensure that logbooks and procedure manuals are located in the driver’s cab for use by staff
- Prepare reports to properly explain unscheduled stops, delays, signaling problems or accidents
Job Skills & Qualifications
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Valid driver’s license
- Minimum of two years experience
- No driving violations involving drugs or alcohol within past four years
- Some vocational or college training
- Current Class 1 Certification
- 240 Certified
- NORAC rules qualified
- Work history that demonstrates ability to adapt to varying shift schedules
Locomotive Engineer Job Responsibilities
Just as the professional summary portion of a resume should give you a snapshot of what a candidate has to offer as an employee, so should the job responsibilities section of your locomotive engineer job description give potential applicants a quick but clear picture of what the job requires. This is one of the most crucial portions of your job description. In a recent poll, CareerBuilder found that 85 percent of jobseekers cited clearly defined job duties as the number one factor in their decision whether to apply.
Your goal in this piece of the locomotive engineer job description is to give potential applicants an idea of what their day-to-day life would look like on the job. The best way to do this is through a bullet-point list. The key here is to make sure not to overwhelm the candidate with a laundry list of responsibilities, and instead focus on the 5-8 most important responsibilities of the position. Many jobseekers cite job passion as a work requirement, so it is also essential to include any duties or responsibilities that are exciting or business-critical.
A few possible locomotive engineer job responsibilities are below:
- Operate locomotives in compliance with federal, state and local regulations
- Stay alert and vigilant in a 24/7 transportation environment
- Communicate effectively with all members of locomotive crew to ensure safe and efficient train movement
- Maintain records on repairs or modifications performed on locomotive cars
Locomotive Engineer Job Specifications
The first step to streamlining your hiring process and avoiding an inbox clogged with unfit applicants is to write a clear job qualifications and skills section. You should write this portion of the locomotive engineer job description in collaboration with a hiring manager or job description review team whenever possible. This team approach will help you to determine which skills and qualifications are required versus which are merely preferred.
The distinction between required and preferred qualifications is essential to a successful locomotive engineer job description, as it communicates to jobseekers whether they are truly qualified for the position. The simplest way to make this distinction is to divide all skills and requirements into two lists, one for required and one for preferred. Order them hierarchically from most to least important, and include everything from minimum education requirements to preferred foreign language skills. This is another place in your job description to use 6-8 bullet points and active language.
Below are a few potential locomotive engineer job specifications:
- Basic knowledge of mechanical inspection procedures
- Minimum of 3 years of related experience on Class 1 carrier or equivalent
- Preference to applicants with current Class 1 Train Service Engineer certification
- Excellent safe work record required