To become a train engineer, complete high school, acquire the qualities required for the job, apply for a job and obtain on-the-job training. Many train engineers begin their careers as conductors before transitioning into the train engineer position.
- Obtain a high school diploma
Get your GED or obtain a high school diploma. Most employers require you to have at least a high school diploma, although some train operator positions have no educational requirements.
- Acquire the qualities required for the job
Work on your mechanical skills to work effectively with complex mechanical equipment. Work on your decision making and communication skills which are essential to locomotive engineers. Physical strength may also be a requirement depending on additional responsibilities and the type of train equipment you are operating.
- Apply for a job
Check rail transportation services websites for job listings, and apply for a position. Internet jobs boards and newspapers are additional sources of information on vacancies. Apply for a job as a yardmaster, conductor, train firer or rail switch operator to increase your chances of becoming a train engineer. Pass a physical fitness test and drug screening before securing a job.
- Obtain on-the-job training
Get trained as a locomotive engineer and acquire experience while on the job. Take and pass a skills test, a written test, and a vision and hearing test to be certified as a train engineer.