CareerGPS

Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
49 50 1 1.39% 0 4 4 $20.64 $42,929 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Confer with conductors and other workers via radio-telephones or computers to exchange switching information.
  • Signal crew members for movement of engines or trains, using lanterns, hand signals, radios, or telephones.
  • Observe and respond to wayside and cab signals, including color light signals, position signals, torpedoes, flags, and hot box detectors.
  • Drive engines within railroad yards or other establishments to couple, uncouple, or switch railroad cars.
  • Inspect engines before and after use to ensure proper operation.
  • Apply and release hand brakes.
  • Read switching instructions and daily car schedules to determine work to be performed, or receive orders from yard conductors.
  • Inspect the condition of stationary trains, rolling stock, and equipment.
  • Observe water levels and oil, air, and steam pressure gauges in order to ensure proper operation of equipment.
  • Spot cars for loading and unloading at customer locations.
  • Inspect track for defects such as broken rails and switch malfunctions.
  • Ride on moving cars by holding onto grab irons and standing on ladder steps.
  • Operate track switches, derails, automatic switches, and retarders to change routing of train or cars.
  • Receive, relay, and act upon instructions and inquiries from train operations and customer service center personnel.
  • Couple and uncouple air hoses and electrical connections between cars.
  • Report arrival and departure times, train delays, work order completion, and time on duty.
  • Pull knuckles to open them for coupling.
  • Provide assistance in aligning drawbars, using available equipment to lift, pull, or push on the drawbars.
  • Drive locomotives to and from various stations in roundhouses to have locomotives cleaned, serviced, repaired, or supplied.

Knowledge

86%
Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
72%
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.
67%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
51%
Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
50%
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.

Skills

72%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
72%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
62%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
62%
Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
62%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
62%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
62%
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.
60%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
56%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
56%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
56%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
53%
Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
53%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
50%
Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Abilities

78%
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.
69%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
69%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
69%
Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
66%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
66%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
66%
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.
66%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
62%
Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
62%
Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
62%
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.
62%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
62%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
62%
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.
60%
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).
60%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
60%
Spatial Orientation - The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
56%
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.
56%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
56%
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.
56%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
56%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
53%
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 compa
53%
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
53%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
50%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
50%
Gross Body Equilibrium - The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
50%
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.
50%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).

Work Activities

96%
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
88%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
85%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
79%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
77%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
74%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
68%
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.
68%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
68%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
65%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
65%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
62%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
59%
Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
58%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
57%
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.
57%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
55%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
54%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
53%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
52%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
52%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
51%
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.
50%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Overall 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.
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Interests

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 outsi
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.
Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Styles

Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
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.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
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.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

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.