How Much Does Train Engineer make?

How much does a train Engineer make? I’m sure you’ll give thoughtful replies to these queries. However, before going into the topic matter, it’s vital to grasp the work description of a Train engineer.

Caucasian train engineer with clipboard inspecting train at the station.

What Does a Train Engineer Do?

Train engineers are responsible for driving trains across short and long distances. Their mission is to safely convey their clients from point A to point B while also working our public transportation system.

Train engineers, often known as locomotive engineers, are in charge of the trains that transport freight and passengers between cities and states.

The average locomotive engineer income is greater than the national average salary for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How much does Train Engineer make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s 35,520 locomotive engineers earned an average of $71,570 per year, or $34.41 per hour, as of May 2019.

The lowest ten percent of engineers earned less than $47,190 per year, or $22.69 per hour, while the wealthiest ten percent earned more than $101,060 per year, or $48.59 per hour.

Electric or diesel locomotives are driven by train engineers to convey commodities and people across the country. The daily responsibilities of train engineers include inspecting and changing the condition of their vehicles.

The Benefits of Working as a Train Engineer

As a locomotive engineer, you travel a lot. Train drivers can travel the country for free or even get paid. They can see and experience many different places and cultures.
Working as a train engineer can be thrilling because you don’t have to do any hard lifting.

Train drivers don’t have to work outside in the cold. They keep our system running. Most people will appreciate what you do.

You can work on your own. If you enjoy trains, this is an excellent career for you. As a train engineer, you may earn a respectable living. A college diploma is not required to work as a train driver.

Train Engineers are employed in a variety of industries

The majority of locomotive engineers worked in rail transportation in 2019, accounting for nearly 95% of all occupations.

Despite employing only 70 people, state governments paid the highest compensation of any industry to locomotive engineers. They made an annual average of $87,960, or $42.29 per hour.

Local governments paid the third-highest wages, with 630 locomotive engineers earning an average of $64,580 per year or $31.05 per hour. The federal government came in fourth for wages, with 50 positions and an average annual salary of $55,810, or $26.83.

Salaries for Train Engineers by Location

Nevada’s 190 locomotive engineers received the highest average salary: $99,520 per year, or $47.85 per hour.

With a yearly pay average of $89,100 ( $42.84 per hour), Washington was the second-most lucrative state for locomotive engineers. California’s 1,770 locomotive engineers received the third-highest wages: $84,740 per year, or $40.74 per hour.

Job Prospects for Train Engineers

From 2018 to 2029, the BLS anticipates a 3% drop in total railroad jobs. In comparison, the average growth forecast for all vocations is 4%. The absence of new track capacity to accommodate more locomotives driven by engineers is the cause of this statistic.

Instead, freight companies are seeking less expensive ways to enhance capacity, such as double-stacking one train car on top of another or running longer trains, to meet the predicted spike in rail traffic caused by population development.

What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Train Engineer Jobs?

  • Santa Clara, CA($121,833)
  • San Francisco, CA($121,797)
  • Fremont, CA($116,992)
  • San Jose, CA($114,460)
  • Alexandria, VA($113,614)
  • Oakland, CA($113,220)
  • Tanaina, AK($112,940)
  • Wasilla, AK($112,939)
  • Sunnyvale, CA($111,931)
  • Santa Maria, CA($111,194)

How Long Does it Take to Become a Train Engineer?

Rail companies typically require a high school diploma or equivalent, especially for locomotive engineers and conductors. Locomotive engineers generally receive 2 to 3 months of on-the-job training before operating a train on their own.

What is the Average Length of Time It Takes to Become a Locomotive Engineer?

Rail firms, notably locomotive engineers and conductors, often demand high school graduation or equivalent before driving a train on their own. Locomotive engineers typically complete 2 to 3 months of on-the-job training.

Is Railway Engineering a Difficult Task?

There are some runs where operating trains can be complex, and the engineer is mentally exhausted but not physically exhausted at the end of the run.

Physical labor is minimal; time is spent sitting in a chair, pressing control levers for the throttle, brakes, and horn, among other things.

Is it Enjoyable to Work as a Train Engineer?

Finally, there are aspects of the job that may be pleasurable, and the money is excellent for not requiring a college diploma, and operating a significant, lengthy freight train over the area does give you a sense of empowerment due to the amount of heavy iron you have under your control.


Everything you need to know about a train engineer is contained in this article. We hope that the information in the article was helpful.

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