UP Career Corner

Mechanic Finds a Second Home at Union Pacific

Posted September 20, 2018 10:00 AM CDT

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Family man Jacob Sullivan began searching for a new career in 2007. He wanted to work for a company that felt like home. That’s when he found Union Pacific.

After applying twice, Sullivan was offered a position as a mechanical service operator (MSO), a job he’s held for 11 years. MSOs work with electricians, mechanics and machinists to move locomotives to tracks to be serviced. Without MSOs, trains don’t move and freight isn’t delivered.

MSO positions are entry-level, and Sullivan received all needed training through Union Pacific. “You don’t have to know anything about railroading because we will teach you,” he said. “That’s why we have trainings and mentors.”

In addition to locomotive, safety and task-specific training, MSOs learn skills like how to use a forklift. Training continues throughout your career. Safety is Union Pacific’s top priority; it’s Sullivan’s, too.

Sullivan said he enjoys the family-like atmosphere at work. “The camaraderie on each shift is great,” he said. “Everyone lends a helping hand. You actually enjoy coming into work because you get to see your friends.”

Sullivan also enjoys Union Pacific’s benefits package. His uncle works for a competing railroad, and told Sullivan Union Pacific’s pay and benefits stand out.

In addition, Sullivan has been his union’s local chairman for two years. “The union is an important support system,” he said.

“We’re all here to provide for our families,” Sullivan said. “My kids are too young to understand what I do, but they know I’m a hard worker, and I come home safe every day.”

Want a career like Sullivan’s? Visit UP.jobs to view current openings and apply.