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Job Description of a Railcar Maintenance Manager

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a railcar maintenance manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and experience to find out if this is the career for you.

Railcar maintenance managers have varying educational requirements that could include an associate's or bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. They may also be required to have related work experience.

Essential Information

Railcar maintenance managers oversee and assist in servicing various types of railway vehicles, including mine cars, streetcars and subway cars. Employment options include railroads, manufacturers of railcars and transit companies. Education and previous work requirements vary by employer.

Required Education Varies by employer; associate or bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering may be required
Other Requirements Previous work experience may be required; ability to lift and carry heavy objects, be mobile and stand or sit for long periods of time
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% for first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers
Median Salary (2015)* $63,010 for first-line supervisors of mechanics and repairers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Railcar Maintenance Manager Job Duties

Railcar maintenance managers coordinate the inspection, maintenance and repair of railway vehicles. They ensure that all mechanisms are operating properly and meet safety requirements. Managers may research any major repair issues, review costs, authorize repairs and guide the repair process.

Railcar maintenance managers are primary contacts for their customers, providing regular updates on repair progress. These managers ensure all deadlines are met while monitoring that repairs meet budgetary concerns and fulfill compliance regulations.

Railcar Maintenance Worker Qualifications

Some employers may prefer an associate's degree in mechanical engineering while others require a bachelor's degree or higher; however, previous work experience in railcars may be equivalent. For candidates without a degree, employers prefer several years of experience in railcar maintenance, fleet management, railcar repair or railcar cleaning.

Some employers may offer a training program designed specifically for management trainees. This educational program may last several weeks and teaches aspiring managers the necessary skills and terminology used by the profession. Prior college experience may be required before a candidate enters the training program.

Employers prefer those candidates with proficient verbal and written skills since managers communicate with customers and maintenance staff. Railcar maintenance managers must have multi-tasking and organizational skills as well as attention to detail. They must have excellent knowledge with policies and procedures set forth by the employer as well as an understanding of state and federal laws concerning safety and other regulations. Those with the ability to interpret blue prints and drawings may excel in this field. A strong knowledge of computers and software is also valuable.

Railcar transit managers must be able to sit or stand for long amounts of time. Physical fitness requirements include the ability to lift and carry a significant amount of weight, usually up to 35 pounds, and applicants must also possess mobility.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), railcar repairers earned a median salary of $55,570 as of May 2015. While the BLS doesn't specifically mention railcar maintenance managers, it did report that first-line supervisors of mechanics and repairers earned a median of $63,010. The employment outlook for first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers was about 5% from 2014-2024.

Railcar maintenance managers supervise employees who maintain, inspect and repair railway vehicles. They have varying educational and work experience requirements, but typically need communication, organizational, and management skills.

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