Locomotive Firers
SOC: 53-4012.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
1,700 employed

Projected (2024):
500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Assistant Engineer
  • Assistant Passenger Locomotive Engineer
  • Diesel Locomotive Firer
  • Diesel Locomotive Firer/Fireman
  • Dinkey Engine Firer
  • Dinkey Engine Firer/Fireman
  • Donkey Engine Firer/Fireman
  • Electric Locomotive Firer/Fireman
  • Engineer Assistant
  • Fireman
  • Firer
  • Locomotive Engineer
  • Locomotive Firer/Fireman
  • Passenger Locomotive Engineer
  • Railroad Firer
  • Railroad Firer/Fireman
  • Roundhouse Firer/Fireman
  • Shop Firer/Fireman
  • Steam Locomotive Firer/Fireman

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job 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.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Equipment Selection
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Monitor oil, temperature, and pressure gauges on dashboards to determine if engines are operating safely and efficiently.
  • Monitor trains as they go around curves to detect dragging equipment and smoking journal boxes.
  • Observe tracks from left sides of locomotives to detect obstructions on tracks.
  • Observe train signals along routes and verify their meanings for engineers.
  • Receive signals from workers in rear of train and relay that information to engineers.
  • 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.
  • Inspect locomotives to detect damaged or worn parts.
  • Operate locomotives in emergency situations.
  • Start diesel engines to warm engines before runs.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Accelerometers
  • Air horns
  • Battery gauges
  • Circuit breakers
  • Clamp-on ammeters
  • Cut-off valves
  • Desktop computers
  • Diesel powered freight engines
  • Diesel powered generators
  • Diesel-electric freight engines
  • Dinkey engines
  • Dry chemical fire extinguishers
  • Dynamic braking systems
  • Electric powered freight engines
  • Freight car air brakes
  • Gas turbine-electric freight engines
  • Generator electrical control panels
  • Hand brakes
  • Load current indicating meters
  • Locomotive airbrakes
  • Manual rail switches
  • Mobile radios
  • Oil pressure gauges
  • Philips head screwdrivers
  • Protective glasses
  • Rail cargo cars
  • Rail flaw detection machines
  • Rail flaw detector cars
  • Reflective vests
  • Safety gloves
  • Speed gauges
  • Steam powered train engines
  • Steel toe boots
  • Straight screwdrivers
  • Temperature gauges
  • Track switches
  • Track switching systems
  • Data entry software
  • Electronic train management system software
  • Route mapping software
  • Time tracking software

  • transportation and material moving

    industry stats

    SOC: 53-0000

    Total Employed: 9,536,610

    Average Annual Salary: $35,160