Career as a Loco Pilot


Have you ever heard of Loco Pilot while travelling by train? Did you know that a Loco Pilot’s responsibilities are similar to those of an airline pilot? Though there is a distinction between an Airplane or commercial Pilot and a Loco Pilot. But, the one thing that’s common among them is that they are responsible for more than 10,000 passengers who rely on the capable shoulders of a pilot, who must execute unswerving tasks and obligations and help connect with locations on a daily basis. In this blog, we will be exploring a career in the same.

Industry Railways
Eligibility 10th + ITI certification or Diploma in Engineering or completed apprenticeship under Apprentices Act, 1961
Average Starting Salary INR 4 lakhs to 5 lakhs 
Job Opportunities ALP, Senior ALP, Power Controller, Loco Supervisor, Crew Controller

Who is a Loco Pilot?

A Loco Pilot is the person who drives trains and ensures the proper maintenance during transit. The Indian Railways provide this position to candidates as a senior-level post. There is no systematic way to hire candidates for the post of Loco Pilot. The selection occurs on the basis of entrance examinations conducted to hire ALP who are later promoted to senior-level positions. The exam is conducted by the Railway recruitment board RRB for group C personnel hiring. An ALP helps the main LP during a train journey. The LP also ensures proper functioning of the train, carrying out a repair, checking for signal changes, communication with officials, and many more. 

Courtesy: Ministry of Railways – India

Perks & Benefits

A Loco Pilot job in the Indian Railways is an interesting career choice since it is a government job. The job provides good pay and additional benefits. It is a tough job that requires extensive physical stamina, an attentive mind, high concentration levels, and great endurance. The major advantage of becoming an LP is excellent job security and salary growth.

Eligibility Criteria of a Loco Pilot

To become a Loco Pilot, a candidate should first become ALP. For this, you must understand the recruitment process for this role which comes under the Railway Recruitment Board. The eligibility criteria for the exam are mentioned below: 

  • The candidate should be belonging to the following nationalities – India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan refugee arriving in India before 1 January 1962 for permanent settlement, Indian origin migrant permanently settled in India.
  • The age limit must be between 18 and 28 years to be eligible for the Assistant Loco Pilot post.
  • Age relaxation is granted to reserved category applicants (SC / ST / OBC / PwD / Ex-Servicemen, etc.) in accordance with government guidelines
  • Qualifying the entrance examination conducted by RRB for the assistant Loco Pilot post
  • Medical fitness after the CBAT (Computer-Based Aptitude Test)

Qualifications Required 

Candidates who are aspiring to become a Loco Pilot must have passed the 10+2 examination or equivalent from a recognized board. Additionally, the candidate must have completed any of these courses:

  • ITI course from Institute recognised by NCVT or SCVT
  • Diploma in Engineering in any streams from an AICTE recognised institute
  • ACT apprenticeship course

Examinations Required

The entrance exam for Assistant Loco Pilot conducted by RRB is a computer-based test (CBT) and has the following 3 stages.

  • CBT 1: 75 questions, 60 minutes
  • CBT 2
    • Part A has 100 questions, 90 minutes. 
    • Part B: 75 questions, 60 minutes
  • Computer-Based Aptitude Test (CBAT)

Note: Only after qualifying the stage I candidates are invited for stage II of recruitment

Skills Required  

A Loco Pilot should have the following skills in order to become a successful pilot.

  • Technical Skills: It is the most important skill of all where a Loco Pilot might be required to perform certain mechanical, technical, mathematical repairs in the information system or locomotive. Knowledge of mechanical systems, language, and methodologies is a must.
  • Critical Thinking Skills: Another important and significant Loco Pilot skill is to have precise and critical thoughts. The ability of a Loco Pilot to take quick decisions in an efficient manner to fix the problem immediately is highly required.
  • Physical Fitness: Loco Pilots should be fit and be able to lift heavy weights and machinery. They must be in good shape and have clear vision and muscular strength.
Courtesy: Quick Support

Courses for Becoming a Loco Pilot

Loco Pilots must have an ITI degree from an institute approved by the National Council for Vocational Training or the State Council of Vocational Training or an electrical/electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, automobile engineering degree/diploma from a recognized university by AICTE. Some of the common certification courses for becoming a the same are enlisted below:

  • Diploma in Railway Engineering
  • Special class Railway apprentices examinations
  • Combined engineering services examination
  • Civil Services Examination

Types of Job Roles

The various job profiles available include the following:

  • Power Controller
  • Crew Controller
  • Loco Fireman
  • Assistant Loco Pilot
  • Senior Assistant Loco Pilot
  • Loco Supervisor

Salary/Pay Scale of a Loco Pilot

As discussed above, the salary package for Loco Pilot is quite promising. The salary 

Standard Indian Railway LP’s compensation package is INR 55,500. The LP salaries in Indian Railways range between INR 20,000 to 85,000 per month. The salary structure for Assistant Loco Pilot is mentioned below: 

  • Junior level salary – INR 20,000 per month 
  • Senior-level salary – INR 50,000 per month 
  • Average salary – INR 30,000 per month 

The salary structure for Senior ALP is as follows:

  • Junior level salary – INR 40,000 per month
  • Senior level salary – INR 70,000 per month
  • Average salary – INR 50,000 per month

Future & Scope

  • Between 2016 and 2026, overall railway professional employment is expected to fall by 3%. 
  • Reduced demand for products and services, such as renewable energy sources, might lead to a drop in the number of railway jobs. 
  • However, a variety of commodities carrying factors might raise demand for certain railway employment possibilities. 
  • Work on locomotive firemen is anticipated to decline by 80% between 2016 and 2026. 
  • The needs for passenger rail services, such as carrying people and urban transit systems, are mostly enhanced by greater transport volumes, whether leading to a larger population, higher commercial businesses, or even more tourism industries. 
  • A variety of alternatives for urban rail networks may arise as a result of substantial improvements in transportation infrastructure, as well as present population expansion and growing commute rates in many western countries.
  • Hence, the Loco Pilot job is really a great job in the Indian sector. It is a highly paid job with job security. 
  • As more and more railway tracks are laid across the country, the demand for LP jobs has also increased significantly. 
  • There are ample opportunities to join the Indian Railways as a Loco Pilot. 

We hope this blog helps you in understanding the job profile of an ALP and Senior Loco Pilot. If you wish to pursue your career as a Pilot then you must take the expert advice from Leverage Edu mentors. Book your first free e-meeting with our experts today!

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