Hostler

Drive locomotives to designated areas to be cleaned, serviced, or repaired.
picture of Hostler

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Hostlers do?

Drives electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotive to designated stations in railroad roundhouse to be cleaned, serviced, or repaired: Receives locomotive from LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER at termination of run. Observes oil, air, and steam pressure gauges and water level to ensure that locomotive is operating efficiently. Pushes or pulls levers to control movement of locomotive. Drives locomotive to various stations in roundhouse to be repaired, cleaned, or supplied with coal, fuel oil, water, lubricating oil, and sand, following instructions from ENGINE DISPATCHER. Drives locomotive from roundhouse to switching area and delivers serviced locomotive to engine crew.


Should I be a Hostler?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Engine Hostler

    How to become a Hostler

    Most Hostlers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9ocaaa&chl=no+college+%2879%25%29|certificate+%2819%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,79,79
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