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NJ TRANSIT Hiring Locomotive Engineers

NJ TRANSIT is currently hiring locomotive engineers. 

Those interested can can find the requirements and resposibilities below. Click here to apply. 



As a Locomotive Engineer, you’ll join the ranks of the most trained and skilled of all rail workforces. You’ll control equipment that is complex and powerful and bear responsibility for the safety of others.

Become part of a Rail team that transports over 500,000 passengers a day and starts moving towards a successful and lucrative career.

If you’re constantly challenging yourself to do better, then this is the job for you!

Position Summary:

The Locomotive Engineer (LE) position entails deep knowledge and application of train operating rules and regulations. It involves the operation of locomotives, performing pre-trip inspections and tests, monitoring track conditions during runs, controlling train speed by throttle adjustment and brake application, and ensuring the safety of passengers and equipment. 

Typically LEs monitor speed, air pressure, battery use, and other instruments to ensure that the locomotive runs smoothly. They observe the track for obstructions, such as fallen tree branches, and use a variety of controls, such as throttles and airbrakes to operate the train. 

In partnership with NJ Transit Conductors, LEs are part of a dynamic team that communicates in person and via radio to get information about delays or changes in the schedule to the public. The LE is also responsible for handling emergency situations involving troubleshooting repairs on equipment.

Skills & Attributes:

  • Strong multi-tasking abilities, strong interpersonal, and communication skills- outstanding listening, verbal, written, and reading comprehension.
  • Careful attention to detail and time management.
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member.
  • Ability to demonstrate self-management capabilities- Possession of self-control, trustworthiness, adaptability, and conscientiousness while on the job.
  • Ability to learn, recall, and apply technical information.
  • Shows accountability and dependability, and effectively demonstrates a positive attitude during stressful situations.
  • Operates well in various environmental conditions (I.e. cold/hot weather, rain, fog, snow).  

Minimum Requirements:

  • High School Diploma or GED Equivalent is required.
  • Some college is desired.
  • Customer-facing experience preferred.
  • Mechanical, diesel, automotive, electrical experience preferred.
  • Commercial experience as a bus driver, truck driver, subway or train operator, commercial pilot, or other heavy equipment experience preferred.  

This is not your typical “9 to 5” job.

Our Hiring Process:

Every applicant who meets the minimum requirements for the position will be invited for a panel interview with Human Resources and Rail Transportation Operations. Post interview, all selected applicants will be invited to a Locomotive Engineer Training Program (LETP) Aptitude Test where several required skills and attributes are assessed. Applicants who score well will begin onboarding where they are required to participate and clear pre-employment background verification and medical screenings prior to receiving an official offer for hire.

20-Month LETP Program:

Locomotive Engineer Trainees participate in a twenty (20) month training program, which includes classroom learning, on-the-job training, knowledge of NORAC rules and regulations, and general railroad information. Trainees go through equipment orientation where they learn about airbrakes, rules of the railroad, physical characteristics of divisional railroad lines, etc. They learn in-depth knowledge of equipment and electrical operations as well as safety training before they are qualified on the lines of their assigned railroad division.

Post LETP Completion:

New Locomotive Engineer graduates are usually assigned to work the “extra list” before being able to hold a regular assignment. Assignments are chosen by employees based on seniority; therefore, preferred day shift jobs and locations are often chosen by senior employees. New employees must work assignments with irregular hours or work the “extra list” with assignments and locations changing daily. The railroad is a twenty-four (24) hour operation. Train crews are subject to duty at any time and must report to assignments within four (4) hours of being called. After becoming a Locomotive Engineer, you will be required to pass yearly examinations that test your knowledge of operating rules and other aspects of information required to successfully continue in your position.

Work Days/Hours:

After completion of the training program, the nature of the Locomotive Engineer position may require that he/she work on one train, such as the rush hour train, have a period of time off, then work the next train that is scheduled to leave. This period of time off, in between trains, is called “layover” and the Locomotive Engineer is considered “held for duty”. Employees in passenger service will be paid overtime for time “on duty”, or “held for duty” in excess of eight (8) hours. An employee held for duty will not be paid for the largest segment of time, meaning eight (8) hours pay for nine (9) hours on duty.


Under the current labor agreement, the entry pay rate is $27.86 per hour to $39.78 per hour upon LETP promotion. Additional pay rate increases are according to the collective bargaining agreement.

Collective Bargaining Agreement:

Locomotive Engineer Trainees will be required to join the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLE) union upon ninety (90) days of hire.

Performance Responsibility:

To be a successful Locomotive Engineer, you must demonstrate:

  • Control Precision: The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine.
  • Near & Peripheral Vision: The ability to see details at close range & the ability to see objects or movement of objects to one’s side when the eyes are looking ahead.
  • Selective Attention: The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Reaction Time: The ability to quickly respond (hand, finger, foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure the machine is working properly.
  • Problem Sensitivity: The ability to tell when something is wrong or likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium: The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Oral Comprehension: The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Hearing Sensitivity: The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch/loudness.
  • Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying.
  • Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions.  

Other Knowledge and Skills Necessary:

Ability to memorize large quantities of information, (physical characteristics, operating rules and procedures, equipment operation, and terminology), that is used daily in decision making and train operating. Ability to read and comprehend technical and written material as well as technical drawings (i.e. operator manuals, diagrams, and flow charts, etc.). These materials are usually written at the 10th-grade reading level. Ability to work irregular hours and travel long distances to varied work locations. Ability to follow instructions and apply rules and procedures without regard to personal opinion.  

Physical Factors and Work Conditions for Locomotive Engineers:

  • Cramped, confined, enclosed, or awkward workspaces.
  • Work that involves walking, climbing, talking, hearing, using hands to handle, feel, and/or reach with hands and arms.
  • Climbing on rail equipment, walking and carrying in all weather conditions, year-round operation.
  • Stooping, bending, kneeling, crouching, balancing, climbing, and sitting for long durations of time.