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The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info

Railroad Engineer

Overview: Railroad engineers design railroad and street trolley or tramway track systems, terminal buildings, passenger stations and switching yards. They design the track rail sizes, beds, and curves to meet train speed and weight requirements. They also plan rail equipment maintenance.
Duties: Conduct and statistically analyze traffic loads and delays as a function of railway system routes, schedules and equipment used. They diagnose the causes of delays & recommend design solutions.

They design railroad and street railway tracks for trams. Design station configurations, switching yards and repair facilities and plan the railbeds and curves.

Plan and direct the construction of bridges, culverts and buildings needed to support the railroad system. Direct maintenance of tracks.

Design and conduct surveys of passenger satisfaction and their perceptions of improvements needed in scheduling and comfort. Confer with operations executives to improve quality.

Degree(s): A.S. Engineering Science 
Job Outlook: Employment of railroad engineers is expected to grow as fast as average through 2018 as a result of expected increases in demand for freight and passenger rail transportation as rail becomes a cheaper alternative to trucks and automobiles. Long term freight transportation should continue to expand as global trade expands and rail freight benefits from the shipment of more goods.
Salary Range (National Average): $39,000 to $45,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: A bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program in transportation system design is the usual educational background required for this occupation. Courses in civil engineering, structural engineering, operations research and computer-aided design are essential.
Advancement Info: Beginning engineering graduates usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers and, in large companies, also may receive formal classroom or seminar-type training. As new engineers gain knowledge and experience, they are assigned more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions. Engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a staff or team of engineers and technicians. Some may eventually become engineering managers or enter other managerial or sales jobs.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Using mathematics and/or statistics to solve problems.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Using scientific methods to investigate and conduct experiments.
Recommended Values:
  • Having a job where you can spend a significant amount of time outside.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.
  • Having a level of income that will afford you with luxuries, and which will allow you to become financially independent.
  • Being able to decide on how to get something done without significant direction from someone else.
  • Create new ideas, programs, things, or anything else not previously developed by another person.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information please click here.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.