This occupation has a very high probability of automation.

83.0% probability

of automation

-1.6% growth

projected to 2026

19,300 employed

currently in the US

$55,320 annual wage

US, median ($26.6 hourly)

What they do

Operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.

Risk of automation

This occupation is 83.0% likely to be automated. It ranks 458 of 702 occupations analyzed (higher rank means higher likelihood).

People affected and economic value

In the US, 19,300 people have this job. They earn $55,320 per year on average (the mean annual wage). The occupation therefore represents $1,067,676,000 in annual economic value. The mean hourly wage for this occupation is $26.6.

Official growth forecast

This occupation is projected to shrink -1.6% between 2016 and 2026. At this rate, there would be 19,000 people with this job at that time.

References and notes

This article uses data from "The Future of Employment" (PDF), a 2013 study from University of Oxford researchers, and US Bureau of Labor Statistics files including Standard Occupational Classification 2010 Definitions (XLS), May 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics (zip) and 2016-2026 Employment Projections (XLS).