Railcar Welder Job Description

railcar welder

Railcar Welder is a skilled professional who welds and repairs railcars, also known as railroad cars or rolling stock. The tasks include various components of railcars, including the frame, body, undercarriage, and mechanical systems. Railcar welders play a crucial role in maintaining the safety of railcars and ensuring their smooth operation. Individuals possessing a welder’s qualifications can perform these jobs, but they require certain railcar-oriented skills and an education. So, in this article, read all about the railcar welder job description in detail.

Post Highlights:

  • Position Levels
  • Education Level
  • Course Types
  • Certification/License
  • Work Experience
  • Duties/Responsibilities
  • Equipment Types
  • Abilities/Skills
  • Work Environment
  • Physical Demands
  • Resume Format
  • Top Industries
  • Job Types
  • Salary Information
  • Benefits/Perks

Position Levels

Some common job levels include-

  • Entry-Level Welder
  • Certified Welder
  • Journeyman Welder
  • Specialized Welder
  • Certified Railcar Welder
  • Lead Welder or Supervisor
  • Inspector/Quality Control Specialist

Education Level

Some typical education levels include-

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent
  • Vocational or Technical Training
  • Apprenticeship or On-the-Job Training
  • Relevant AWS Welding Certification
  • Specialized Training Program
  • Diploma/Degree in Engineering/Metallurgy (optional)

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Course Types

Some common course types include-

  • Advanced Welding Course
  • Rail Industry Training Program
  • Railcar Inspection/Quality Control Course
  • Railcar Maintenance/Systems Course
  • Railcar Welding Certification Course
  • Specialized Course (railcar welding techniques)
  • Welding Safety/Regulations Course
  • Welding Technology Program (railcar emphasis)

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Some common certification types include-

  • AWS Railcar Welding Certifications-
    AWS Certified Welder
    AWS Certified Rail Welder (CRAW)
    AWS Certified Rail Welding Inspector (CRWI)
    AWS Certified Railcar Welder (CARW)
  • AREMA Certification-
    AREMA Certified Welder
  • Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Certification
    Level I or Level II NDT certification
  • Manufacturer-Specific Certification
  • NCCER Railcar Welding Certification
  • Rail Industry-Specific Certification

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Work Experience

Some common experience types include-

  • Component repair experience
  • General welding experience
  • Leadership/supervisory experience
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT) experience
  • Quality control/inspection experience
  • Rail joint welding experience
  • Railcar body/frame welding experience
  • Safety training/compliance experience
  • Undercarriage welding experience


Some common duties include-

  • Address issues such as rust, cracks, damage, and worn-out parts
  • Collaborate with railcar maintenance professionals
  • Communicate with team members effectively
  • Conduct NDT inspections on railcar welds/components
  • Conduct thorough inspections of railcars
  • Determine the extent of repairs needed
  • Ensure proper welding equipment/tools maintenance
  • Ensure welding work meets industry-specific standards
  • Evaluate the condition of welds/components
  • Fabricate/weld new components into place
  • Fabricate/weld replacement parts
  • Follow strict safety protocols
  • Maintain detailed records of welding/repair activities
  • Perform quality checks on completed welds/repairs
  • Perform rail joint welding
  • Perform repairs on railcar bodies/other structural elements
  • Perform welding tasks using various welding processes
  • Remove/replace damaged railcar components
  • Report equipment issues/repairs as needed
  • Stay up-to-date with industry-specific regulations
  • Train less experienced welders as needed
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE)

Equipment Types

Some common equipment types include-

Welding Machines-

  • MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welders
  • TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welders
  • Stick welders (SMAW – Shielded Metal Arc Welding)
  • Rail welding machines for specialized rail joint welding

Cutting Equipment-

  • Abrasive cut-off saws
  • Oxy-fuel cutting torches
  • Plasma cutters

Welding Consumables-

  • Welding electrodes
  • Wires
  • Shielding gases
  • Fluxes

Welding Accessories-

  • Welding helmets
  • Gloves
  • Aprons
  • Safety glasses
  • Welding curtains

Grinding/Finishing Tools-

  • Angle grinders
  • Wire brushes

NDT Equipment-

  • Ultrasonic testing (UT) equipment
  • Magnetic particle testing (MT) equipment
  • Dye penetrant testing (PT) materials
  • Radiographic testing (RT) equipment


  • Magnetic clamps
  • Welding tables

Measuring Instruments-

  • Calipers
  • Levels
  • Squares
  • Tape measures

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)-

  • Flame-resistant clothing
  • Safety glasses
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Welding gloves
  • Welding helmets

Railcar Maintenance Tools-

  • Hammers
  • Hydraulic jacks
  • Socket sets
  • Wrenches

Welding Positioners (turning rolls)

Power Sources (generators/electrical outlets)


Some essential skills include-

  • Ability to analyze problems
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Able to obtain relevant certifications
  • Able to produce high-quality welds
  • Attention to detail
  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Blueprint reading skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Expertise in various welding processes
  • Good work adaptability
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Railcar systems knowledge
  • Strong commitment to quality control
  • Understanding of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods
  • Known to safety protocols/regulations

Work Environment

Some common working conditions include-

  • Expose to various weather conditions
  • Exposure to fumes/gases
  • Exposure to welding hazards
  • May handle safety inspections/audits
  • May need to travel to different rail yards/job sites
  • May operate heavy equipment
  • May require to work in confined spaces
  • May require to work in non-standard hours
  • Must adhere to strict safety protocols
  • Must dress appropriately for changing conditions
  • Often work as part of a team
  • Subject to quality assurance
  • Use proper hearing protection
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Work both indoors and outdoors
  • Work in noisy environments

Physical Demands

Some common physical demands include-

  • Able to maintain a stable posture while working
  • Adaptable to changing weather conditions
  • Climbing in and out of railcars is common
  • Demands a steady hand and precision
  • Exposure to heat sources/high temperatures
  • Exposure to prolonged noise and vibrations
  • Exposure to weather elements
  • May need to bend down or stoop
  • May need to climb ladders or railcar structures
  • May operate heavy equipment
  • May require repetitive movements
  • May require kneeling or crawling on hands/knees
  • Often lift/carry heavy equipment/materials
  • Often work for long hours
  • Working in confined spaces can be physically demanding

Resume Format

A suggested resume format includes-

Contact Information

  • Your full name
  • Address (optional)
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Objective (Optional)

  • Summarize your career goals briefly

Summary of Qualifications (Optional)

  • List of your related qualifications and skills


  • List your technical skills
  • Any other relevant skills


  • List your related certifications
  • Also include the certifying organization, certification name, and date obtained

Professional Experience

  • List your job experience (most recent first)
  • For each job, include-
    Job Title
    Company Name
    Dates of Employment
    Job Description


  • List your educational background (most recent first)
  • This should include-
    Degree/Certificate Earned
    School Name
    Graduation Date

Professional Associations (Optional)

  • Mention here the membership of relevant professional associations or industry groups (if you have one)

References (Optional)

  • Generally, not required (available upon request later)

Resume Formatting Tips-

  • Keep the formatting consistent throughout the resume
  • Use bullet points for more readability
  • Tailor your resume to the specific job description
  • Proofread carefully (no spelling or grammar errors)
  • Keep your resume concise (1-2 pages)
  • Use a clean and professional font (11-12 points)

Top Industries

Some common employment areas include-

  • Contracting/Consulting Firms
  • Freight/Logistics Companies
  • Government Agencies
  • Maintenance of Way (MOW) Crews
  • Private Contractors
  • Railcar Inspection/Certification Services
  • Railcar Leasing/Leasing Management Companies
  • Railcar Leasing/Sales Companies
  • Railcar Manufacturing Facilities
  • Railcar Repair/Maintenance Shops
  • Railroad Companies
  • Transit Authorities

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Job Types

Some common job types include-

  • Contract Railcar Welder
  • Lead Railcar Welder
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • Rail Welder (rail joint welder)
  • Railcar Fabrication Manager
  • Railcar Fabricator
  • Railcar Inspector
  • Railcar Maintenance Technician
  • Railcar Repair Technician
  • Railcar Welder
  • Safety Inspector/Safety Coordinator
  • Welding Instructor/Trainer

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Salary Information

On average, a Railcar Welder earns $23 per hour in the United States. But factors like education, certification, skills, specific roles, location, company size, and employer types affect salary trends.

However, the approximate salary ranges for railcar welders include.

Hourly Wage

  • Entry-Level – $15 to $25
  • Experienced – $25 to $35 or more
  • Highly Experienced/Certified – $35 to $45 or more

Monthly Salary

  • Entry-Level – $2,600 to $4,300
  • Experienced – $4,300 to $5,800 or more
  • Highly Experienced/Certified – $5,800 to $7,200 or more

Annual Salary

  • Entry-Level – $31,200 to $51,600
  • Experienced – $51,600 to $69,600 or more
  • Highly Experienced/Certified – $69,600 to $93,600 or more

These salary figures are just estimates, and actual ranges can vary from place to place depending on various local market trends, and labor demands. Railcar welders with advanced certifications may command higher salaries.


Some common benefits include-

  • Bonuses/Incentives
  • Career Advancement Opportunities
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
  • Employee Discounts
  • Employee Referral Programs
  • Health/Wellness Programs
  • Healthcare Benefits
  • Overtime Pay
  • Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Retirement Plans (401k)
  • Safety Gear/Equipment Provision
  • Safety Recognition Awards
  • Training/Development Opportunities
  • Travel/Per Diem Provision
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Union Membership Benefits
  • Union Representation
  • Work-Life Balance Initiatives


Railcar Welders are hard-working people and play a critical role in the construction, repair, and maintenance of railcars. They ensure safety and reliability in the transportation industry. These individuals possess specialized welding skills and knowledge. Railcar welders perform physically demanding tasks and work in various related industries. They enjoy a range of benefits and perks along with good hourly, monthly, and yearly salaries. Overall, the profession of a railcar welder is crucial for the completed maintenance of railcar industry activities.

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