Locomotive Engineer and Railroad Conductor

Career Overview

Locomotive engineers drive passenger and freight trains, while conductors manage the activities of the crew and passengers on the train. Conductors may take payments or tickets from passengers and assist them when they have any difficulties. They may also oversee the loading and unloading of cargo.


A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary to obtain these positions. Most of the training for these careers takes place on-the-job, through a combination of classroom lessons, simulator experience and hands-on instruction.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$40,000 /yr
$60,000 /yr
$90,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Psychology
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Trade-related courses
  • Automotive Repair
Work Environment

Nearly all locomotive engineers and conductors work in the rail transportation industry. This work may require working on nights and weekends as well as traveling for long periods of time. Conductors may also have to deal with unhappy customers at times.

Future Outlook

The job outlook for this position looks fair over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada