Career summary

Details for Locomotive Firers


Description

Monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. Watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineer in railroad yard.

Tasks

  • Observe train signals along routes and verify their meanings for engineers.
  • Monitor trains as they go around curves to detect dragging equipment and smoking journal boxes.
  • Receive signals from workers in rear of train and relay that information to engineers.
  • Observe tracks from left sides of locomotives to detect obstructions on tracks.
  • Operate locomotives in emergency situations.
  • Inspect locomotives to detect damaged or worn parts.
  • Signal other workers to set brakes and to throw track switches when switching cars from trains to way stations.
  • Check to see that trains are equipped with supplies such as fuel, water, and sand.
  • Monitor oil, temperature, and pressure gauges on dashboards to determine if engines are operating safely and efficiently.
  • Start diesel engines to warm engines before runs.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Related careers

  • Dredge Operators
  • Locomotive Engineers
  • Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators
  • Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators
  • Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
  • Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
  • Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators