If you’re interested in becoming a train engineer, you might wonder - how long does it take for you to become one? Before you can being working in the railroad industry there are several requirement you will need to comply that will allow you to practice your chosen career.
Generally, you can become a licensed train engineer in less than a year. But how long it will take you to land a job as a train engineer can be complex. Let us take a look at some factors.
- To become a train engineer, you must be able to comply with the basic educational requirements. Your career as a train engineer will start with completing a locomotive engineer training program.
- According to the federal law, beginning train engineers must complete first a conductor training course as a prerequisite for the locomotive engineer training program. The time you allot in acquiring both certificates will be approximately 6 months.
- After successful completion of the training program, you are then eligible to sit for the train locomotive engineer licensing examination. The time you spend before taking the exam will depend on your readiness, but the sooner you take the exam, the sooner you can start your career.
- When you already got hold of your license, you can then apply for a job in railroad companies or industries that are in need of train engineers.
- This would be the complex part of your journey towards landing a job as a train engineer.
- Typically, you will not be hired immediately as a train engineer. You will have an entry-level position which includes working as a brakeman or conductor, but can also include working as a yard laborer, crane operator or section man.
- Because of the tight competition of train engineers on the entry-level, many train engineers have waited for months, most often years, before they were able to be eligible for additional training and get promoted as a full-time train engineer.
Some places are in need of train engineers, with this you can expect to be hired right away and will just have to wait for few months. But for places where competition is high and vacancies are low, trainings for train engineer positions may be scarce, resulting to longer time of waiting.
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