Railroad Supervisor

Approve freight payloads and locomotive specifications.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$32,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Railroad Supervisors do?

Trains are powerful machines, perfectly designed to pull very heavy objects from place to place. They don’t run themselves, however, and the people who run them often need a little guidance in order to do the job right. As a Railroad Supervisor, you provide that guidance.

Trains mustn’t carry loads that are too tall or else they’ll wipe out tunnels and bridges as they chug along. Before a train leaves the yard, the Railroad Supervisor determines where it is going and how low those tunnels and bridges are, and then measures the height of the train to make sure it will fit.

Very heavy loads also require specialized attention because trains that are too heavy can damage tracks as they move. So you weigh the loads and check that the train isn’t breaking any rules. Sometimes, multiple engines may be required to pull heavy loads, and you make sure enough engines are available to do the job right.

When the load is approved and ready to go, you talk to the Locomotive Engineer and describe the route, the stops the train must make, and how fast it should run in most places. If you notice that one Locomotive Engineer can’t seem to follow your directions properly, you might replace that person with a new employee.

If an accident occurs, the Railroad Supervisor is the first person notified and travels to the site. If you suspect that one of the workers had been drinking or taking drugs, you make that person leave immediately for a drug or alcohol testing facility. When you arrive back in your office, you write a report about the accident.


Should I be a Railroad Supervisor?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Railroad Supervisor of Engines

    How to become a Railroad Supervisor

    Most Railroad Supervisors have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9pdxaa&chl=no+college+%2848%25%29|certificate+%2832%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2818%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,48,48
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