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Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers

Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

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

    Skills

    • Systems Analysis

      Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.

    • Troubleshooting

      Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.

    • Science

      Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.

    • Active Learning

      Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    • Persuasion

      Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others.

    • Mathematics

      Using math to solve problems.

    • Operations Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.

    • Management of Material Resources

      Managing equipment and materials.

    • Operation and Control

      Using equipment or systems.

    • Systems Evaluation

      Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

    • Management of Personnel Resources

      Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.

    • Critical Thinking

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

    • Learning Strategies

      Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.

    • Instructing

      Teaching people how to do something.

    • Active Listening

      Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Reading work-related information.

    • Management of Financial Resources

      Making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent.

    • Installation

      Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.

    • Programming

      Writing computer programs.

    • Repairing

      Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.

    • Equipment Maintenance

      Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.

    • Coordination

      Changing what is done based on other people's actions.

    • Negotiation

      Bringing people together to solve differences.

    • Service Orientation

      Looking for ways to help people.

    • Technology Design

      Making equipment and technology useful for customers.

    • Operations Analysis

      Figuring out what a product or service needs to be able to do.

    • Social Perceptiveness

      Understanding people's reactions.

    • Equipment Selection

      Deciding what kind of tools and equipment are needed to do a job.

    • Complex Problem Solving

      Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

    • Writing

      Writing things for co-workers or customers.

    • Time Management

      Managing your time and the time of other people.

    • Quality Control Analysis

      Testing how well a product or service works.

    • Judgment and Decision Making

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.

    • Monitoring

      Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    4
    Graphic Literacy
    4

    Abilities

    • Rate Control

      Changing when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

    • Explosive Strength

      Jumping, sprinting, or throwing something.

    • Gross Body Coordination

      Moving your arms, legs, and mid-section together while your whole body is moving.

    • Dynamic Flexibility

      Quickly and repeatedly bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Originality

      Creating new and original ideas.

    • Deductive Reasoning

      Using rules to solve problems.

    • Spatial Orientation

      Knowing where things are around you.

    • Number Facility

      Adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.

    • Visualization

      Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

    • Control Precision

      Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

    • Mathematical Reasoning

      Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.

    • Flexibility of Closure

      Seeing hidden patterns.

    • Gross Body Equilibrium

      Keeping your balance or staying upright.

    • Visual Color Discrimination

      Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.

    • Depth Perception

      Deciding which thing is closer or farther away from you, or deciding how far away it is from you.

    • Night Vision

      Seeing at night or under low light.

    • Reaction Time

      Quickly moving your hand, finger, or foot based on a sound, light, picture or other command.

    • Dynamic Strength

      Exercising for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

    • Wrist-Finger Speed

      Making fast, simple, repeated movements of your fingers, hands, and wrists.

    • Stamina

      Exercising for a long time without getting out of breath.

    • Static Strength

      Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying.

    • Speech Recognition

      Recognizing spoken words.

    • Written Comprehension

      Reading and understanding what is written.

    • Oral Expression

      Communicating by speaking.

    • Written Expression

      Communicating by writing.

    • Fluency of Ideas

      Coming up with lots of ideas.

    • Speed of Closure

      Quickly knowing what you are looking at.

    • Peripheral Vision

      Seeing something to your side when your are looking ahead.

    • Far Vision

      Seeing details that are far away.

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      Keeping your arm or hand steady.

    • Selective Attention

      Paying attention to something without being distracted.

    • Near Vision

      Seeing details up close.

    • Speed of Limb Movement

      Quickly moving your arms and legs.

    • Extent Flexibility

      Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Response Orientation

      Quickly deciding if you should move your hand, foot, or other body part.

    • Trunk Strength

      Using your lower back and stomach.

    • Sound Localization

      Noticing the direction that a sound came from.

    • Auditory Attention

      Paying attention to one sound while there are other distracting sounds.

    • Speech Clarity

      Speaking clearly.

    • Oral Comprehension

      Listening and understanding what people say.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      Noticing when problems happen.

    • Finger Dexterity

      Putting together small parts with your fingers.

    • Memorization

      Remembering words, numbers, pictures, or steps.

    • Information Ordering

      Ordering or arranging things.

    • Perceptual Speed

      Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

    • Time Sharing

      Doing two or more things at the same time.

    • Manual Dexterity

      Holding or moving items with your hands.

    • Multilimb Coordination

      Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.

    • Glare Sensitivity

      Seeing something even if there is a glare or very bright light.

    • Category Flexibility

      Grouping things in different ways.

    • Hearing Sensitivity

      Telling the difference between sounds.

    Knowledge

    • Production and Processing

      Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    • Food Production

      Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

    • Education and Training

      Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    • Fine Arts

      Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

    • Philosophy and Theology

      Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

    • Chemistry

      Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

    • Therapy and Counseling

      Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

    • Transportation

      Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    • Biology

      Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

    • Physics

      Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.

    • Medicine and Dentistry

      Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

    • Foreign Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

    • History and Archeology

      Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

    • Sociology and Anthropology

      Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.

    • Law and Government

      Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Economics and Accounting

      Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Computers and Electronics

      Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    • Design

      Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    • Building and Construction

      Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    • Mechanical

      Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • Geography

      Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

    • Communications and Media

      Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

    • Telecommunications

      Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

    • Psychology

      Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    • 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.

    • Administrative

      Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

    • 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.

    • Sales and Marketing

      Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    • Personnel and Human Resources

      Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

    • Engineering and Technology

      Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

    Career Video

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    Pay

    • Ohio Annual Salary 52930/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 25.45/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 3,800
    • Yearly Projected Openings 400

    Typical Education

    Personality

    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Adaptability/Flexibility
    • Cooperation
    • Concern for Others
    • Self Control

    Tools

    • Air hoses
    • Capstan
    • Cold chisels
    • Derricks
    • Diagonal cut pliers
    • Diesel freight locomotives
    • Drum openers
    • Ear plugs
    • Flags or accessories
    • Flares
    • Hammers
    • Hand sprayers
    • Hard hats
    • Heavy rail turnout switch
    • Kerosene or propane or natural gas or butane lantern
    • Oil gauges
    • Personal computers
    • Pressure indicators
    • Punches or nail sets or drifts
    • Rail switching systems
    • Railway rolling stock lifting jack
    • Railway signaling systems
    • Ratchets
    • Safety boots
    • Safety glasses
    • Socket sets
    • Specialty wrenches
    • Temperature gauge
    • Train braking systems
    • Two way radios
    • Utility knives
    • Wheel chocks
    • Winches
    • Wire brushes

    Technology

    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Expert system software
    • Facilities management software
    • Industrial control software
    • Internet browser software
    • Inventory management software
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