What's like to be a Locomotive Mechanic?

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Kyle and I'm hoping for a career with the railroad industry. I've just graduated from high school in Northern Missouri and will be heading off to a two year college in Southern Iowa to major in Diesel Power Technology. Does anyone work for the railroad industry as a locomotive mechanic? I'm hoping to work for a Class 1 railroad as a diesel mechanic or a mechanical shop laborer. I plan on working for Union Pacific or BNSF in Kansas City. I understand that the railroad industry is have a rough time and is rarely hiring right now due to the money spent on oil and coal. If I changed my mind, I'll try to be a Conductor for a Class 2 or 3 railroad. I'm just wondering that if I'm hired as a mechanic, would I start with the swing shift? Or will I start with the graveyard shift? I just want to learn some more facts on what's like to work for the railroad as a locomotive mechanic everyday.

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Much can change in two years while you are in college. While in school, I recommend you routinely meet with your faculty advisor and periodically check with the school's placement office to get a feel for the job market. You should also check with your department to see if any railroads offer summer internships in your field of study.

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