Railroad Car Inspector

Inspect railroad cars for structural defects and test mechanical equipment.
picture of Railroad Car Inspector

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $108,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Railroad Car Inspectors do?

Inspects railroad cars for structural defects and tests mechanical equipment, such as brakes, airhoses, and couplings to ensure that they are in operating condition: Observes cars from elevated platform or from ground as cars roll by, or climbs aboard train to test equipment and to locate defects. Examines car roofs, ice hatches, brake beams, doors, and floors for structural defects and obstructions. Turns handwheel to test brakes and ascertain that they are in operating condition. Inspects and tests airhoses for leakage. Inspects wheel trucks for dragging equipment. Opens journal boxes to determine that they are filled with grease. Prepares reports on findings, indicating number of car and type of repair required. May inspect electrical circuitry and recommend improvements or repairs to electrical operations. May tag cars in need of immediate repairs. May place lanterns or flags in front and rear of train to warn other workers that inspection is being performed. May inspect locomotives. May be designated according to type of car inspected as Passenger-Car Inspector.


Should I be a Railroad Car Inspector?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Railroad Car Inspector

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Railroad Car Inspector-related education!
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