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Diesel Electrician

What Will You Do? 

  • Diagnose electrical malfunctions in locomotive control circuits and components, assess the nature of problems, and identify corrective action needed
  • Work with shop machines and tools to repair and maintain the electrical parts of our diesel electric locomotives
  • Read and understand blueprints, schematics and locations circuit plans
  • Ensure compliance with all rules and regulations for safety and operations

What Will You Learn?

Our Diesel Electricians play an important part in keeping our locomotives on the move. Almost every system on the locomotive is a complex electrical system.  We'll teach you the dynamic workings of a locomotive, and how to ensure they are running in peak condition.  We'll also teach you how to use tools and equipment you won’t find in any other shop or on any construction site.


  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must provide verifiable work or education experience in electronics, control systems, AC/DC motors or a current journeyman's electrical card.
  • You must be able to read electrical schematics and prints.
  • Experience troubleshooting electronic control systems is required, and experience working with large motor generators and high-voltage circuitry is preferred.
  • You will have to pass a Skilled-Craft Battery test (see sample) to be considered for an interview.


Apprentice Diesel Electricians can expect to earn about $27 an hour, with pay increasing to $33 as you progress to Diesel Electrician.  Your actual pay will depend on your location and your Union-negotiated agreement. 


As an Apprentice Diesel Electrician, you will receive formal classroom and hands-on training as part of a three-year apprenticeship. You will learn primarily by performing specific tasks under the guidance of a journeyperson.

In your first few months as a Diesel Electrician, you will receive safety training, and you will begin to learn about locomotive electrical systems and maintenance. Over the course of your first year, you will get more in-depth training in specific electrical systems. Your training will continue as your job changes and as the railroad adopts new technology.


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