Rail Car Repairers: Salary Overview
Rail car repairers diagnose, adjust and repair railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass retail cars.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for rail car repairers was $56,390 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
The median hourly rate for rail car repairers in the United States was $27.11 but rates typically are between $16 and $39 depending on a variety of factors, including experience, skills, certifications but also the region and the industry of employment.
The annual wage for most rail car repairers was between $35,000 and $80,000 in May of 2019.
The 25 percentile for this profession was $43,890 which means that 75 percent of all rail car repairers earned more than this.
Rail Car Repairer Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most rail car repairers work in the industry of rail transportation or for companies that provide support activities for rail transportation.
The average annual wage reported by rail car repairers who worked in rail transportation was $61,290 while those who worked in the field of support activities for rail transportation reportedly earned $45,870 per year, on average.
The average annual wage was higher for those who worked for local governments, a field where the average annual salary reported by rail car repairers was $74,370.
Rail car repairers who were employed by railroad rolling stock manufacturers earned, on average, $44,250 as of May 2019 while those who worked for state governments reported salaries that averaged at $71,770.
Salaries also vary depending on the region of employment and the local economy.
For example, rail car repairers who worked in New York were remunerated, on average, with $70,770 per year while those who worked in North Carolina earned, on average, $43,820 per year.
Other states where the average annual wage reported by rail car repairers was above the $60,000 mark were New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Minnesota.
Rail Car Repairer Salary by Experience Level
There are many other factors that determine a rail car repairer’s salary, including the experience level.
According to payscale.com, the average hourly rate reported by entry-level rail car repairers with less than 1 year of experience was $17.19 while those who had more than 20 years of experience reportedly made around $21.87 per hour on average.
Rail car repairers who have between 1-4 years of experience reportedly earned $17.77 per hour on average and those who have between 10-19 years of experience made $21.85.
Mid-career rail car repairers with 5-9 years of experience reportedly earned $22.47 per hour on average.
Bonuses and Other Benefits
Some rail car repairers also earn bonuses and a share of the company’s profit in addition to their fixed salary.
According to the report published by payscale.com in July 2020, on average, rail car repairers earned $450 in bonuses and $1,250 in profit sharing.
The same report shows that 73% of all rail car repairers received medical benefits and 67 percent of them had dental insurance.
Your level of skills will also improve your earning prospects.
For example, having good welding skills and being familiar with several welding techniques can improve your earning prospects.
Knowing how to comply with safety rules and how to operate a variety of machinery and other tools can also be a plus.
In conclusion, as with any profession, salaries for rail car repairers vary depending on a wide range of factors, and this occupation can be quite well remunerated if you have good skills and a few years of experience in the field.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Rail Car Repairers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.