Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
- Signal locomotive engineers to start or stop trains when coupling or uncoupling cars, using hand signals, lanterns, or radio communication.
- Pull or push track switches to reroute cars.
- Observe signals from other crew members so that work activities can be coordinated.
- Inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and handbrakes to ensure that they are securely fastened and functioning properly.
- Raise levers to couple and uncouple cars for makeup and breakup of trains.
- Receive oral or written instructions from yardmasters or yard conductors indicating track assignments and cars to be switched.
- Climb ladders to tops of cars to set brakes.
- Set flares, flags, lanterns, or torpedoes in front and at rear of trains during emergency stops to warn oncoming trains.
- Inspect tracks, cars, and engines for defects and to determine service needs, sending engines and cars for repairs as necessary.
- Make minor repairs to couplings, air hoses, and journal boxes, using hand tools.
The data sources for the information displayed here include: O*NET™; US Department of Labor (BLS); Virginia Workforce Connection.
Projections Quick View:
Virginia: No Data
National: - 1.6%
High School Diploma
Two: Some Preparation Needed
Highest ($50,000 and up)