Career As a Loco Pilot, Salary, Qualification

Most of us love to drive. From the bike you had as a kid to the car you currently use, driving is a rejuvenating experience for those who appreciate it. Being behind the wheel, controlling a ship capable of taking us wherever we want, with all that adrenaline rush, is a feeling all its own. Bikes, cars, vans, your passion must have led you to try it all. Maybe even trucks. Now, what is left to try? A train? Loco pilot are the drivers who drive trains in India.

Yes, a train. How about driving a train? Don’t worry, this is not a joke. A train definitely has a driver. He is often referred to as a loco pilot and is responsible for following the route, controlling speed, ensuring the safety of passengers and cargo, predicting signal errors, and even carrying out minor repair jobs and maintenance if necessary.

Usually, loco pilots work on freight trains that last at least a decade. Therefore, locomotive pilots should quickly familiarize themselves with the machines they work with; in essence, they should be a walking encyclopedia of dos and don’ts of train operation and maintenance. Loco pilots don’t have to do this alone, however; in fact, their responsibilities and activities are under the supervision of the conductor, with whom they can work to keep things moving at all times. Loco pilots need to conduct all the activities of the train and need to perform all the tasks of the railway.

Qualifications/Eligibility to become LOCO PILOT

Fulfilling the eligibility criteria to become a loco pilot is considered a bit difficult. The reason is that it has a low barrier to entry. That said, it is still a heavy job of responsibility. The criteria are mentioned below:

  • You must be an Indian Citizen or be of Indian descent to migrate and reside permanently in India.
  •  Must have passed classes 10 and 12 from a recognized board.

You must have taken a minimum of one of the following courses:

  •  ITI course from an institute recognized by NCVT / SCVT.
  • A degree in electrical, electronic, or mechanical engineering.
  • Automotive engineering comes from an institute recognized by AICTE.
  • The Act Apprenticeship course.
  • You must be between 18 to 28 years old. The candidates of the reserved categories will be able to relax on this subject.

Salary of a LOCO PILOT

The salary of an assistant loco pilot is around Rs. 20000/ month. Apart from that, they have many other benefits like DA(Dearness Allowance) and HRA(Home Rent Allowance). Loco pilot salary will increase up to 55000-60000/ month based on experience and when they become a senior pilot. If you want a salary up to your expectations, you have to work hard and give all your best to become the best loco pilot in railway and you have to work step by step to achieve this target.

Skills required by LOCO PILOT

The most important skill to become a loco pilot is Hand-Eye coordination with everything that is mechanical. Without any fundamental knowledge of machinery, you can’t work properly and it leads to catastrophic results. That is why a good amount of patience and concentration is required at the time of work as well as for a long period of time. However, you also need to have good physical stamina so, that at the time of emergency it will be useful.

The second skill that is required to become a loco pilot is judgment and decision making that will be useful at the time of the job. You can improve these skills by gaining a holistic perspective or awareness of health, safety regulation, and emergency protocols related to rail services.

Entrance exam pattern for LOCO PILOT

To become a loco pilot you need to give an entrance exam and for that, a certain pattern needs to be followed:

Computer-based test: It is divided into 2 parts and one of which further divided into 2 sections.

Part A: It consists of 75 questions that must be finished within a time frame of 60 minutes.

Part B: It consists of 175 questions that must be finished within a time frame of 150 minutes. It further consists of sections A and B. Section A gets 100 questions and 90 minutes, whereas Section B gets 75 questions and 60 minutes.

The type of questions asked in this exam is reasoning, awareness, arithmetic, and general science-based questions. To clear this exam your baseline knowledge for mathematics should be perfect as most questions asked are on arithmetic and it carries the most weightage in the whole exam.

Books and study material to become LOCO PILOTS

Books Author/writer Publisher
Lucent’s General Knowledge Dr. Binay Kamra Lucent Publication
Railway Assistant loco pilot and Technician Arihant Experts Arihant Publication
General Science for RRB Junior Engineer, NTPC, ALP & Group D Exams Disha Experts Disha Publication
Lucent’s General Science Ravi Bhushan Lucent Publication
A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning RS Aggrawal S Chand Publication


To become a loco pilot is not an easy task you have to study day and night to clear the exam and become a loco pilot. Indian Railway has many loco pilots hence, there are many pros and cons of becoming a loco pilot. You need to have proper qualifications to appear for the exam and eligibility criteria that are up to the mark. Therefore, if you want to become a loco pilot you can become and achieve your dreams as you know Indian railway required drivers to run their trains.





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