Rail Car Repairers

Description

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.

Tasks

  • Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Test units for operability before and after repairs.
  • Record conditions of cars, and repair and maintenance work performed or to be performed.
  • Remove locomotives, car mechanical units, or other components, using pneumatic hoists and jacks, pinch bars, hand tools, and cutting torches.
  • Inspect components such as bearings, seals, gaskets, wheels, and coupler assemblies to determine if repairs are needed.
  • Inspect the interior and exterior of rail cars coming into rail yards in order to identify defects and to determine the extent of wear and damage.
  • Adjust repaired or replaced units as needed to ensure proper operation.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, and clean units and components.
  • Repair, fabricate, and install steel or wood fittings, using blueprints, shop sketches, and instruction manuals.
  • Repair and maintain electrical and electronic controls for propulsion and braking systems.
  • Disassemble units such as water pumps, control valves, and compressors so that repairs can be made.
  • Measure diameters of axle wheel seats, using micrometers, and mark dimensions on axles so that wheels can be bored to specified dimensions.
  • Align car sides for installation of car ends and crossties, using width gauges, turnbuckles, and wrenches.
  • Replace defective wiring and insulation, and tighten electrical connections, using hand tools.
  • Test electrical systems of cars by operating systems and using testing equipment such as ammeters.
  • Install and repair interior flooring, fixtures, walls, plumbing, steps, and platforms.
  • Examine car roofs for wear and damage, and repair defective sections, using roofing material, cement, nails, and waterproof paint.
  • Paint car exteriors, interiors, and fixtures.
  • Repair car upholstery.
  • Repair window sash frames, attach weather stripping and channels to frames, and replace window glass, using hand tools.

Knowledge

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
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.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
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.

Skills

Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities

Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Work Activities

Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Work Context

Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
Exposed to Contaminants
How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled
How often does this job require working indoors in non-controlled environmental conditions (e.g., warehouse without heat)?
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls
How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
Face-to-Face Discussions
How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather
How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures
How often does this job require working in very hot (above 90 F degrees) or very cold (below 32 F degrees) temperatures?
Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting
How often does this job require working in extremely bright or inadequate lighting conditions?
Frequency of Decision Making
How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Air Brake Adjuster
Air Brake Man
Air Brake Mechanic
Air Brake Rigger
Air Brake Worker
Air Compressor Mechanic
Air Valve Mechanic
Air Valve Repairer
Airman
Brake Adjuster
Brake Liner
Brake Reliner
Brake Shoe Rebuilder
Brake Specialist
Breaker Mechanic
Car Builder
Car Mechanic
Car Repairer
Car Repairer Apprentice
Car Repairman
Carman
Coach Mechanic
Compressor Mechanic
Controller Mechanic
Donkey Doctor
Drop Pit Worker
Equipment Mechanic
Freight Car Builder
Gate Person
Gearman
Interlocker Maintainer
Interlocking and Signal Mechanic
Locomotive Mechanic Apprentice
Machine Maintenance
Machine or Machinery Mechanic
Machine Overhauler
Maintenance Mechanic
Mechanic
Mechanical Unit Repairer
Mine Car Mechanic
Mine Car Repairer
Plow Mechanic
Pullman Car Repairer
Rail Car Maintenance Mechanic
Rail Car Mechanic
Rail Car Painter/Sandblaster
Rail Car Repairer
Rail Car Repairman
Rail Car Welder
Railroad Brake Repairer
Railroad Car Repairman
Railroad Mechanic
Roundhouse Worker
Signal Constructor
Signal Fitter
Street Car Mechanic
Streetcar Repairer
Subway Car Repairer
Tank Car Mechanic
Tank Car Reconditioner
Test Rack Operator
Tipple Mechanic
Triple Valve Mechanic
Triple Valve Tester
Trolley Car Mechanic
Trolley Car Overhauler
Trouble Shooter
Truck Mechanic
Truck Mechanic Apprentice
Trucksmith
Valve Mechanic
Valve Repairer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$23.32 hourly, $48,500 annual.
Employment (2008):
19,140 employees