National Application Center :: career details :: Railroad Inspectors
Career Details :: Railroad Inspectors
Inspect railroad equipment, roadbed, and track to ensure safe transport of people or cargo.
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience may be helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a drywall installer might benefit from experience installing drywall, but an inexperienced person could still learn to be an installer with little difficulty.
These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job-related course work. In some cases, an associate's or bachelor's degree could be needed.
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.
- Inspects signals and track wiring to determine continuity of electrical connections.
- Replaces defective brake rod pins and tightens safety appliances.
- Notifies train dispatcher of railcar to be moved to shop for repair.
- Inspects and tests completed work.
- Examines locomotives and cars to detect damage or structural defects.
- Operates switches to determine working conditions.
- Makes minor repairs.
- Tags rail cars needing immediate repair.
- Tests and synchronizes rail-flaw-detection machine, using circuit tester and hand tools, and reloads machine with paper and ink.
- Starts machine and signals worker to operate rail-detector car.
- Packs brake bearings with grease.
- Examines roadbed, switches, fishplates, rails, and ties to detect damage or wear.
- Seals leaks found during inspection that can be sealed with caulking compound.
- Fills paint container on rail-detector car used to mark section of defective rail with paint.
- Directs crews to repair or replace defective equipment or to re-ballast roadbed.
- Prepares reports on repairs made and equipment, railcars, or roadbed needing repairs.
- Places lanterns or flags in front and rear of train to signal that inspection is being performed.
- Farm Equipment Mechanics
- Locomotive Engineers
- Maintenance Workers, Machinery
- Motor Vehicle Inspectors
- Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
- Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters
- Ship Engineers
- Train Crew Members
General Work Activities
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, Material
- Repairing & Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
- Monitor Processes, Material, Surroundings
- Performing General Physical Activities
- Handling and Moving Objects
Frequent Work Context
- Consequence of Error
- Responsible for Others' Health & Safety
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate
- Importance of Being Sure All Is Done
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results