Diesel Engineers

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Diesel Engineers

Diesel Engineers - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, locomotive engineers:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a high level of social contact. They talk to assistants and conductors throughout the day.
  • Talk with others by telephone and face-to-face discussions.
  • Have a substantial amount of responsibility for the health and safety of others.
  • Are somewhat responsible for the work done by others.
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  • Are occasionally placed in conflict situations.
  • Usually work as part of a team of engineers.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Often are exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting and uncomfortable.
  • Often wear a special uniform.
  • Regularly wear protective attire, such as work boots or ear plugs.
  • Work both outdoors and indoors. Those who work exclusively in the rail yard primarily work outdoors. Train cars may not be temperature-controlled.
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  • Are exposed to contaminants on a regular basis.
  • May be exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures, depending on the weather.
  • Often are exposed to hazardous equipment.
  • Are occasionally exposed to whole body vibration.
  • Sometimes work in extremely bright or dim lighting conditions.

Work Performance

  • Must be very exact in their work. Errors could result in serious accidents.
  • Repeat the same physical and mental activities.
  • Must allow the pace of work to be dictated by the speed of equipment.
  • Sometimes make decisions that affect others. They often act independently, but may seek input from others before making large decisions.
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  • Set most of their daily tasks and goals without consulting another first.


  • Usually work full time.
  • Often work nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • May work irregular hours if not a full-time employee.
  • May spend several nights at a time away from home.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.