A locomotive mechanic performs a variety of jobs, depending on his area of expertise. Mechanical jobs in the railroad industry consist of diesel mechanics, freight car repairers, mechanic service operators and work equipment mechanics. Many of these jobs do not have direct routes to certification to help secure a position. To make up for the lack of certification opportunities, railroads offer apprenticeship programs. It is helpful, however, to gain certification in areas related to locomotive mechanics if you want to secure an apprenticeship position.