Apprentice Freight Car Repair

Union Pacific
North Platte, Nebraska, United States View on Map
Apply Before : September 9, 2024
Job Description

Learn about every aspect of inspecting, repairing and rebuilding freight cars during a three-year training program with one of North Americaā€™s most established railroad companies! As an Apprentice Freight Car Repairer, youā€™ll have the opportunity to work with your hands every day: conducting inspections, performing scheduled and on-demand maintenance, and repairing or replacing defective components on our rolling stock! We are powered by our people, will you join our team?

Required Certifications:

For this position, you will be required to become a Union Pacific certified driver during your probationary period. To become certified, you must meet the following Motor Vehicle and Medical Requirements:

1. Must be a minimum of 21 years of age

2. Have valid driver’s license

3. Have an acceptable driving record per your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)

4. You may also be required to obtain your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) if you will be operating a vehicle(s) with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs or greater. If this is required, you will need to obtain your CDL during your probationary period.

Medical Requirements: 

Must meet the medical requirements (also called physical qualifications) for commercial motor vehicle drivers as specified by the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). For more information about FMCSA physical qualifications for driversĀ click here. Health and Medical Services at Union Pacific Railroad will make the final determination on whether or not an individual meets the FMCSA medical qualifications, and may add additional medical requirements to assure the person can safety perform job tasks, with or without accommodation.


  • Conduct inspections to identify defects, evidence of wear, and damages caused by derailments or collisions
  • Perform maintenance, including initial terminal air brake tests and other pre-trip inspections
  • Repair structural components of rolling stock. This may include fabricating, cutting or performing rough finish operations on metal and wood replacement parts, or fastening or assembling car parts by riveting, bolting, or welding
  • Remove and replace defective components, such as trucks, shoes, coupler assemblies or air brake systems
  • Clean and prepare surfaces for painting, welding and fabrication
  • Safely and effectively operate: acetylene torches; non-power tools or hand tools; power tools; electric and gas welding equipment; as well as other shop machines, tools, vehicles and equipment
  • Communicate with others, verbally and in writing, technical information, job procedure recommendations, and other work-related information
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with coworkers, supervisors, contractors and/or customers and effectively resolve situations that arise
  • Ensure compliance with all railroad rules and regulations for safety, operations and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Perform other duties as assigned



  • Valid driver’s license
  • Basic mathematic skills
  • Ability to read and understand all instructions including operating and safety rules, bulletins, special instructions, and federal regulatory documents
  • Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Class A or Class B, or can obtain one within your probationary period
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills to deliver information to coworker(s) and supervisor(s)
  • Candidates for this position must pass a pre-employment test in English before being allowed to interview. The number of candidates who pass the test and are granted an interview is based upon hiring needs. Click here to see a sample of theĀ Carmen & Mechanical Service Operator Test.
  • Candidates must qualify on a Physical Ability Test (PAT) prior to employment. Click here for a description of theĀ Physical Abilities Test


  • Experience effectively operating the following: tools required to repair freight/passenger cars such as 100 ton jacks, air tools, compressors, generators, welders, hydraulic equipment or torches
  • Experience operating heavy equipment such as construction, farm, etc. (Consider professional, personal, and volunteer experience)
  • Experience working in an environment that requires you to wear personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, safety boots, hard hats, and hearing protection
  • Experience working outdoors in variable weather conditions (consider professional, personal, and volunteer experience)
  • Experience welding or a welding certificate (consider professional, personal, and volunteer experience)

Physical Requirements

  • Able to remain standing for more than one-half of every work day with an opportunity to periodically change position for comfort
  • Able to frequently walk and maintain balance on a variety of surfaces and able to make coordinated hand movements to grasp, place, or move objects
  • Push and pull objects up to 93 lbs, lift up to 85 lbs, and occasionally bend, stoop, and kneel
  • Occasionally climb to access cars and work vehicles

Work Conditions

  • Willing to work on-call, overtime, various shifts, 7 days a week, as well as weekends and holidays
  • Willing and able to work in confined and/or small spaces
  • Willing and able to work around large equipment such as railcars, locomotives and cranes
  • Work at heights of 18 feet or more
  • Apply only to those locations where you are prepared to live and work
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Benefit information can be found under the Benefits section on (
  • To the extent required by federal law and/or collective bargaining agreement, membership to the respective labor union is required. The union agreement dictates the pay rate and cannot be individually negotiated. Monthly dues are the responsibility of the employee.
Required skills