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Rail Equipment Operator Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a rail equipment operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.6 an hour? That's $32,451 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -2% and produce -1,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Rail Equipment Operator Do

There are certain skills that many rail equipment operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, hand-eye coordination and leadership skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a rail equipment operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 41.3% of rail equipment operators included weather conditions, while 37.5% of resumes included heavy equipment, and 17.5% of resumes included osha. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the rail equipment operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most rail equipment operators actually find jobs in the professional and construction industries.

How To Become a Rail Equipment Operator

If you're interested in becoming a rail equipment operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 20.0% of rail equipment operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.0% of rail equipment operators have master's degrees. Even though some rail equipment operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a rail equipment operator. When we researched the most common majors for a rail equipment operator, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on rail equipment operator resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a rail equipment operator. In fact, many rail equipment operator jobs require experience in a role such as emergency medical technician. Meanwhile, many rail equipment operators also have previous career experience in roles such as truck driver or computer numerical controller machinist.

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Rail Equipment Operator Demographics



81.4 %

Black or African American

8.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

6.7 %

Rail Equipment Operator Education


16.7 %
Fine Arts
16.7 %


High School Diploma

50.0 %


25.0 %


25.0 %
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Top Rail Equipment Operator Employers

1. Charah
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2. ManpowerGroup
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Updated October 2, 2020