Skills & Knowledge
Most Important Skills for Locomotive Engineers
- Operating Equipment—Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Monitoring Equipment—Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Controlling Quality—Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Coordinating with Others—Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Learning New Things—Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Making Decisions—Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Locomotive Engineers
- Transportation—Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- 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.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Mechanical—Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Customer and Personal Service—Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management—Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Computers and Electronics—Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics—Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Geography—Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- 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.
Learn more about your interests. Take the MnCareers Interest Assessment.
Describe Your Skills
People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.
- Controlling machines and processes.
- Identifying information by categorizing, comparing, or detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to find or fix problems.
- Operating vehicles or equipment.
- Collecting information from different sources.
- Evaluating information to determine compliance with standards.
- Monitoring information from a variety of sources to find problems.
- Communicating with supervisors, co-workers, or people that work under you.
The following careers use skills, knowledge, and abilities that are similar to those used for Locomotive Engineers.
- Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators
- Excavating and Loading Machine Operators
- Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
- Locomotive Firers
- Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
- Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks
- Oil, Gas, and Mining Service Unit Operators
- Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
- Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters
- Subway and Streetcar Operators
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.