Brief description of the position:
Forty-two percent of America's freight is moved on railroads. Since railroads are critical to the U.S. economy, so are rail engineers. Rail engineers design the plans and layout of railroad tracks and bridges. There is currently a large amount of rail infrastructure in place, so rail engineers are typically involved with continuous quality control. This may require field work in the case of any problems to avoid derailments. Rail engineers can be in charge of railroads that move either freight or people. Freight is generally moved by private rail companies, while passenger rail may be overseen by public transit organizations.
Between $74,000-$84,000, or, $6,100-$7,000/month
Secondary and Postsecondary Education
Rail engineers should have a high school background in calculus and physics. In college, rail engineers should familiarize themselves with computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software and transportation principles. Some rail engineers may work with signaling, and require knowledge about related software programs. Rail engineers typically have a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and may have an advanced degree. Bridge engineers must pass both the Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering exams.