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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021

53-4022 Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers

Operate or monitor railroad track switches or locomotive instruments. May couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Watch for and relay traffic signals. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes. May watch for dragging equipment or obstacles on rights-of-way.


National estimates for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers
Industry profile for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers
Geographic profile for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers

National estimates for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
16,200 1.2 % $ 30.31 $ 63,050 0.5 %

Percentile wage estimates for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 21.28 $ 29.15 $ 30.69 $ 30.98 $ 38.65
Annual Wage (2) $ 44,260 $ 60,620 $ 63,840 $ 64,440 $ 80,400


Industry profile for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Rail Transportation 13,940 6.34 $ 30.96 $ 64,390
Support Activities for Rail Transportation 1,280 3.94 $ 21.01 $ 43,690
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 640 0.01 $ 35.78 $ 74,430
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 90 0.00 $ 41.19 $ 85,680
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 60 0.00 $ 27.71 $ 57,630

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Rail Transportation 13,940 6.34 $ 30.96 $ 64,390
Support Activities for Rail Transportation 1,280 3.94 $ 21.01 $ 43,690
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 640 0.01 $ 35.78 $ 74,430
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 60 0.00 $ 27.71 $ 57,630
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 90 0.00 $ 41.19 $ 85,680

Top paying industries for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 90 (7) $ 41.19 $ 85,680
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 640 0.01 $ 35.78 $ 74,430
Rail Transportation 13,940 6.34 $ 30.96 $ 64,390
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 60 (7) $ 27.71 $ 57,630
Support Activities for Rail Transportation 1,280 3.94 $ 21.01 $ 43,690


Geographic profile for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers, see the Create Customized Tables function.



Map of employment of railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers by state, May 2021


States with the highest employment level in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Texas 2,230 0.18 1.58 $ 29.81 $ 62,000
Illinois 1,550 0.28 2.40 $ 32.90 $ 68,420
Missouri 960 0.35 3.07 $ 30.70 $ 63,860
California 960 0.06 0.50 $ 29.96 $ 62,310
Indiana 800 0.27 2.34 $ 37.33 $ 77,640


Map of location quotient of railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers by state, May 2021


States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Wyoming 380 1.46 12.73 $ 28.67 $ 59,630
Montana 380 0.80 6.94 $ 28.23 $ 58,710
Nebraska 670 0.70 6.12 $ 30.36 $ 63,140
Arkansas 550 0.46 4.01 (8) (8)
Missouri 960 0.35 3.07 $ 30.70 $ 63,860


Map of annual mean wages of railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers by state, May 2021


Top paying states for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Indiana 800 0.27 2.34 $ 37.33 $ 77,640
Georgia 400 0.09 0.80 $ 36.93 $ 76,800
New York 550 0.06 0.55 $ 34.17 $ 71,080
New Jersey 130 0.03 0.30 $ 33.50 $ 69,680
Illinois 1,550 0.28 2.40 $ 32.90 $ 68,420



Map of employment of railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 460 0.11 0.94 $ 33.14 $ 68,920
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 90 0.01 0.09 $ 50.27 $ 104,560
Salt Lake City, UT 60 0.09 0.75 $ 29.23 $ 60,810
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 60 0.03 0.22 $ 28.04 $ 58,320


Map of location quotient of railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 460 0.11 0.94 $ 33.14 $ 68,920
Salt Lake City, UT 60 0.09 0.75 $ 29.23 $ 60,810
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 60 0.03 0.22 $ 28.04 $ 58,320
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 90 0.01 0.09 $ 50.27 $ 104,560


Map of annual mean wages of railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers by area, May 2021


Top paying metropolitan areas for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 90 0.01 0.09 $ 50.27 $ 104,560
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 460 0.11 0.94 $ 33.14 $ 68,920
Salt Lake City, UT 60 0.09 0.75 $ 29.23 $ 60,810
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 60 0.03 0.22 $ 28.04 $ 58,320
Birmingham-Hoover, AL (8) (8) (8) $ 18.16 $ 37,760

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Eastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area 50 0.59 5.13 $ 22.55 $ 46,900
North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area 50 0.17 1.50 $ 20.96 $ 43,590

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Eastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area 50 0.59 5.13 $ 22.55 $ 46,900
North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area 50 0.17 1.50 $ 20.96 $ 43,590

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Western Wyoming nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) $ 24.42 $ 50,800
Eastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area 50 0.59 5.13 $ 22.55 $ 46,900
North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area 50 0.17 1.50 $ 20.96 $ 43,590


About May 2021 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(7) The value is less than .005 percent of industry employment.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OEWS estimates and related information:

May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2022