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Which Schools Offer Locomotive Engineering Training?

Locomotive engineers work with trains of all types. Read the article below to learn how you can get the education needed for a career as a locomotive engineer.

Schools That Offer Locomotive Engineering Training

Federal regulations require that you complete a formal training program before you may work as a locomotive engineer. Many railroad companies provide on-the-job training for those interested in an engineering role within the rail transportation industry. Another option is for you to complete a basic locomotive engineering program offered at several community colleges.

Important Facts About Locomotive Engineering Training

Prerequisites High school diploma/GED, application completion, sometimes a placement exam and application fee
Possible Careers Conductor, Signalman, Freight Car Repairman, Yardmaster
Continuing Education Certification through the Federal Railroad Administration is available, and may be required (depending on your career choice)
Education Levels Certificates, associate's degrees and training courses are all available in this field
Median Salary (2018)$62,930 (Rail conductors and yardmasters) // $62,100 (Locomotive engineers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026)-2% decline (Rail conductors and yardmasters) // -3% decline (Railroad engineers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Johnson County Community College

Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS, offers both certificate and associate degree programs in railroad operations. Overall, the college has more than 50 degree and certificate programs.

The college features an Associate of Applied Science degree in railroad operations. This 2-year program is offered in partnership with the National Academy of Railroad Sciences (NARS) and requires 64 credit hours. Because of the partnership, you'll be able to take advantage of state-of-the art simulations and hands-on laboratory experiences in locomotive operation.

This program offers courses in railroad history, operations, safety, quality control and conductor service. You'll also need to fulfill general education courses such as math, communications and applied physics.

Bucks County Community College

Founded in 1964 in Newtown, PA, Bucks County Community College is a public 2-year educational institution that offers an introductory locomotive training course through its continuing education program. This 64-hour program provides you with a basic knowledge so you can seek employment and pursue training opportunities within the industry. You'll study locomotive operations for freight and commuter railroads. It may also allow you to enter a railroad company's training academy so you can learn how to become a locomotive engineer, conductor or train dispatcher.

National Academy of Railroad Sciences

NARS is an industry leader in providing employee training and certification programs for individuals employed by the U.S. locomotive industry. Programs are available for entry-level and veteran employees. The academy offers on-campus, satellite and online training.

The academy's locomotive engineering training course covers areas such as general operating skills, locomotive electrical equipment, train handling rules and hazardous material transport. This course provides hands-on simulator training such as block signal simulators, locomotive diesel engines and locomotive air brake racks. This course is open to individuals of all locomotive engineering skill levels.