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Summary Report for:
53-4012.00 - Locomotive Firers

Monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. Watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineer in railroad yard.

Sample of reported job titles: Locomotive Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Assistant Passenger Locomotive Engineer, Fireman, Passenger Locomotive Engineer

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

Tasks

  • Observe train signals along routes and verify their meanings for engineers.
  • Monitor trains as they go around curves to detect dragging equipment and smoking journal boxes.
  • Receive signals from workers in rear of train and relay that information to engineers.
  • Observe tracks from left sides of locomotives to detect obstructions on tracks.
  • Operate locomotives in emergency situations.
  • Inspect locomotives to detect damaged or worn parts.
  • Signal other workers to set brakes and to throw track switches when switching cars from trains to way stations.
  • Check to see that trains are equipped with supplies such as fuel, water, and sand.
  • Monitor oil, temperature, and pressure gauges on dashboards to determine if engines are operating safely and efficiently.
  • Start diesel engines to warm engines before runs.

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Knowledge

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.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Skills

Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
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.
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.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

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.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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.
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.
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.

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
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.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
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?
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?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — How often does this job require working in a closed vehicle or equipment (e.g., car)?
Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
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?
Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — How often does this job require exposure to whole body vibration (e.g., operate a jackhammer)?
Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

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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
65   High school diploma or equivalent
35   Some college, no degree

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Interests

Interest code: RC

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.

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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.
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.
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.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
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.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
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.
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.
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.

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Related Occupations

47-4051.00 Highway Maintenance Workers
47-4061.00 Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators Green Occupation
47-5013.00 Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining Green Occupation
53-3032.00 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook   Green Occupation
53-4011.00 Locomotive Engineers   Green Occupation Green
53-4013.00 Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
53-4021.00 Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
53-4031.00 Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters Green Occupation
53-4041.00 Subway and Streetcar Operators
53-7032.00 Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $21.60 hourly, $44,920 annual
Employment (2012) 2,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 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 Locomotive Firers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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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.

  • Railroad Occupations external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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