Aspiring locomotive engineers can enroll in undergraduate training programs offered by community colleges, technical schools and professional organizations.
Schools with Locomotive Engineer Programs
The following schools offer locomotive engineer programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Dakota County Technical College||Rosemount, Minnesota||2-year, Public||Certificate||$5,027**|
|Bucks County Community College||Newtown, Pennsylvania||2-year, Public||Course||$650**|
|Gateway Community College||New Haven, Connecticut||2-year, Public||Associate's|| $4,032 In-state
|Penn State Altoona||Altoona, Pennsylvania||4-year, Public||Bachelor's|| $14,610 In-state
|University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign||Champaign, Illinois||4-year, Public||Certificate, Master's|| $15,054 In-state
|Sacramento City College||Sacramento, California||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $1,104 In-state
|Johnson County Community College||Overland Park, Kansas||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $2,730 In-district
|Michigan Tech||Houghton, Michigan||4-year, Public||Minor|| $14,286 In-state
|Carl Sandburg College||Galesburg, Illinois||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $4,250 In-district
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **School websites
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Heavy Equipment Operation
- Truck, Bus and Commercial Driver
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for locomotive engineer schools:
- Would-be engineers who want a comprehensive college education may select a 2-year associate or 4-year bachelor's degree program in railroad operations that requires general education courses in addition to practical skills training.
- Other types of training programs may be much shorter, lasting 1-6 months and providing the minimum training that leads to mandatory licensure by the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
- Those interested in becoming locomotive engineers may seek a program that's affiliated with the industry.
Railroad Conductor and Engineer Certificates
Engineer and conductor training certificates can take 1-6 months of part- or full-time study to earn, depending on the program's academic scope and focus. Certificate programs can be found at community colleges or trade schools, or they may be offered in conjunction with professional organizations. Curricula are often designed to help the student earn required federal licensure as a locomotive engineer from the FRA. Internships or field experiences are also commonly required.
Associate Degree in Railroad Operations
Associate degree programs in railroad operations provide similar career and skills courses to those found in certificate programs. However, programs also provide liberal arts courses, such as business administration, economics, technical math and communications. Internship opportunities may also be available. Such 2-year programs are designed to provide comprehensive instruction for professional maintenance and operations personnel in the railroad industry.
Locomotive engineer programs are available at the certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree levels. These training programs concentrate on railroad operations, safety, and operating rules.