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Summary Report for:
47-4061.00 - Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators

Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.

Sample of reported job titles: Track Inspector, Track Laborer, Track Maintainer, Track Repairer, Track Walker, Track Equipment Operator (TEO), Trackman, Machine Operator, Track Repair Person, Track Service Person

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Patrol assigned track sections so that damaged or broken track can be located and reported.
  • Clean tracks or clear ice or snow from tracks or switch boxes.
  • Repair or adjust track switches, using wrenches and replacement parts.
  • Lubricate machines, change oil, or fill hydraulic reservoirs to specified levels.
  • Dress and reshape worn or damaged railroad switch points or frogs, using portable power grinders.
  • Cut rails to specified lengths, using rail saws.
  • Raise rails, using hydraulic jacks, to allow for tie removal and replacement.
  • Adjust controls of machines that spread, shape, raise, level, or align track, according to specifications.
  • Drill holes through rails, tie plates, or fishplates for insertion of bolts or spikes, using power drills.
  • Grind ends of new or worn rails to attain smooth joints, using portable grinders.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Impact wrenches — Gas-powered wrenches; Track-wrench machines
Measuring tapes — Precision tape measures
Pipe bending tools — Rail benders
Pneumatic hammer — Jackhammers; Pneumatic hammers
Pneumatic impact wrenches — Air-powered wrenches
Pry bars — Claw bars; Crowbars
Sprayers — Pesticide sprayers

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Time accounting software — Timekeeping software

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Knowledge

Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
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.

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Skills

Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

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Work Activities

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Work Context

Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — How often does this job require working in very hot (above 90 F degrees) or very cold (below 32 F degrees) temperatures?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
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.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
72   High school diploma or equivalent
21   Some college, no degree
  Less than high school diploma

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Interests

Interest code: R

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.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

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Work Values

Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

47-2071.00 Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
47-2072.00 Pile-Driver Operators   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
47-2151.00 Pipelayers
47-4031.00 Fence Erectors Bright Outlook
47-4051.00 Highway Maintenance Workers
47-5013.00 Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining   Green Occupation Green
47-5081.00 Helpers--Extraction Workers
49-3043.00 Rail Car Repairers
53-5011.00 Sailors and Marine Oilers
53-7032.00 Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $22.08 hourly, $45,920 annual
Employment (2012) 17,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 4,500
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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