Summary Report for:
49-3043.00 - Rail Car Repairers
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.
Sample of reported job titles: Air Brake Mechanic, Car Repairman, Carman, Rail Car Maintenance Mechanic, Rail Car Mechanic, Rail Car Painter/Sandblaster, Rail Car Repairer, Rail Car Repairman, Rail Car Welder, Railroad Car Repairman
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.
- Test units for operability before and after repairs.
- Record conditions of cars, and repair and maintenance work performed or to be performed.
- Remove locomotives, car mechanical units, or other components, using pneumatic hoists and jacks, pinch bars, hand tools, and cutting torches.
- Inspect components such as bearings, seals, gaskets, wheels, and coupler assemblies to determine if repairs are needed.
- Inspect the interior and exterior of rail cars coming into rail yards to identify defects and to determine the extent of wear and damage.
- Adjust repaired or replaced units as needed to ensure proper operation.
- Perform scheduled maintenance, and clean units and components.
- Repair, fabricate, and install steel or wood fittings, using blueprints, shop sketches, and instruction manuals.
- Repair and maintain electrical and electronic controls for propulsion and braking systems.
- Disassemble units such as water pumps, control valves, and compressors so that repairs can be made.
- Measure diameters of axle wheel seats, using micrometers, and mark dimensions on axles so that wheels can be bored to specified dimensions.
- Align car sides for installation of car ends and crossties, using width gauges, turnbuckles, and wrenches.
- Replace defective wiring and insulation, and tighten electrical connections, using hand tools.
- Test electrical systems of cars by operating systems and using testing equipment such as ammeters.
- Install and repair interior flooring, fixtures, walls, plumbing, steps, and platforms.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable hand wrenches
- Automatic lathe or chucking machine — Wheel lathes
- Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers
- Bearing fitting tool kits — Bearing presses
- Blow torch — Cutting torches
- Brake tester — Automatic air brake testers
- Claw hammer — Nailing hammers
- Cleaning scrapers — Gasket scrapers
- Cold chisels — Flat cold chisels
- Combination wrenches
- Diagonal cut pliers — Diagonal-cutting pliers
- Forklifts — Wheeled forklifts
- Hoists — Car hoists; Pneumatic hoists
- Hydraulic press frames — Mounting presses
- Jacks — Intermodal car jacks
- Jib crane — Floor-mounted jib cranes
- Levels — Torpedo levels
- Needlenose pliers
- Personal computers
- Pipe wrenches
- Pry bars — Aligning pry bars; Pinch bars; Rolling head pry bars
- Pullers — Cotter pin pullers
- Railway lift table for engine and component — Locomotive drop table; Underfloor lifting systems
- Railway or tramway maintenance or service vehicle — Automated car movers
- Railway rolling stock lifting jack — Bogie testing benches
- Safety glasses — Protective safety glasses
- Screwdrivers — Flat head screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Arc welders
- Skid steer loaders
- Socket attachments and accessories — Socket drive extensions; Socket wrench handles
- Sockets — Socket wrenches
- Squares — Combination squares
- Tablet computers
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Torque wrenches
- Tractor mounted crane — Mobile cranes
- Train braking systems — Retarders
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
- Wheel alignment equipment — Wheel shim tables
- Wheel balancing equipment — Bearing dismounting presses
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — RailTech Software Systems Mars for the 21st Century
- Data base user interface and query software — WheelShop Automation.com Wheel Shop Management Suite
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer; Mozilla Firefox
- Inventory management software — RailTech Software Solutions Rail 21 Management System
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- 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.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Active 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- 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.
- Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
- Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- 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.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- 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.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- 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.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Paint surfaces or equipment.
- Replace vehicle glass.
- Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
- Align equipment or machinery.
- Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
- Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
- Fabricate parts or components.
- Install vehicle parts or accessories.
- Inspect mechanical components of vehicles to identify problems.
- Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
- Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
- Inspect vehicles to determine overall condition.
- Test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
- Service vehicles to maintain functionality.
- Repair electronic equipment.
- Inspect completed work to ensure proper functioning.
- Maintain repair or maintenance records.
- Inspect structural components of vehicles to identify problems.
- Repair non-engine automotive or vehicle components.
- Seal gaps or cracks to prevent leakage or moisture intrusion.
- Measure distances or dimensions.
- Install hardware or other interior fixtures.
- Rewire electrical or electronic systems.
- Remove parts or components from equipment.
- Repair structural components.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 72% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Standing — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “40 hours.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 46% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Exposed to High Places — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 44% responded “High responsibility.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 31% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 46% responded “Important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 38% responded “Some freedom.”
- Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 24% responded “Important.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 42% responded “Never.”
- Letters and Memos — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 31% responded “Important results.”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|84||High school diploma or equivalent|
|10||Less than high school diploma|
Interest code: RCI
- 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.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- 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.
- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$26.72 hourly, $55,570 annual|
|Employment (2014)||22,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Slower than average (2% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||5,700|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.