Track Laborer

Inspect and maintain railways tracks, spikes, and ties.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$30,000 – $63,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Track Laborers do?

When the Transcontinental Railroad was first completed, each section of track was freshly laid and in excellent working order. But, as with all things that age, the original railroad and myriad offshoots built since require upkeep to ensure a safe and reliable track system.

A Track Laborer is the one to make sure the rail lines are inspected, repaired, and maintained. The physically demanding job of Track Laborer allows you to use your muscles and work in Mother Nature’s playground. From hilltops to valleys, you travel where the railway takes you in order to get the job done.

And that job is a big responsibility. After all, cargo and passengers count on you to find decayed or aging pieces of track and get them replaced. That means you look for broken or worn rails, loose spikes, rotten railroad ties, and unstable track beds. When you discover these problems, you and the rest of your crew remove and replace heavy ties, eliminate old spikes, hammer in new ones, replace faulty switches, and weld broken track.

In addition to maintaining and repairing the components of the track, there are also the weather and obstructions to worry about. You de-ice the rails and remove snow from the track. If a tree falls across the rails, you bring out the chainsaw. You also make repairs after a train derails or is involved in an accident with a vehicle.

Whatever it takes, as a Track Laborer, you’re there to make sure the trains stay on schedule and arrive safely.


Should I be a Track Laborer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Rail Track Layer, Section Laborer, Track Crew Member, Track Dresser, Track Layer, Track Maintainer, Trackman See More

    How to become a Track Laborer

    Most Track Laborers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9qaaaa&chl=no+college+%2879%25%29|certificate+%2821%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,79,79
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