Rail engineering technician

Alternative titles for this job include Rolling stock engineer

Rail engineering technicians install and service mechanical and electrical systems on trains.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 47 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a Rail engineering technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Rail Engineering Operative Competence
  • Level 3 Diploma in Rail Engineering Technician

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as a rail engineering technician. You can do apprenticeships with Network Rail or Transport for London.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start out in a rail track maintenance worker. With experience and further training, you could then apply for a technician role.

Direct application

To apply directly for rail technician jobs you would normally need experience and qualifications as a mechanical fitter, electrician or craftsperson with a rail engineering company, or from elsewhere in engineering. For example, a background as a coach builder or construction plant technician may be helpful.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a rail engineering technician from Network Rail and Transport for London.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to work well with others
  • concentration skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • observation and recording skills
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • pass a medical check
  • have good eyesight and be physically fit, as you'll have to pass a medical before you can start training

You may have to take an aptitude test to assess your existing skills and knowledge.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • helping to build new engines and carriages
  • fitting out carriages with lighting, upholstery, control panels and communication systems
  • inspecting bodywork, roofs and undercarriages for wear and tear or damage
  • repairing or replacing parts
  • carrying out regular checks on brakes and couplings
  • taking apart, testing and reassembling mechanical, electrical and pneumatic systems
  • writing reports and updating maintenance records

Working environment

You could work on rail tracks or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and dirty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You'll take work-based qualifications in personal track safety, installation, testing and maintenance.

You may work for train operating companies, London Underground, light rail and metro companies, rail freight and leasing firms. Specialist rail engineering maintenance companies are also big employers.

With experience, you could become maintenance team leader or engineering workshop manager.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Rail Engineering Technician Apprentice

  • Wage : £15,600.00 Annually
  • Location: SW1H 0DJ

Courses In England

Intermediate Apprenticeship in Rail Engineering Track Maintenance L2 (QCF)

  • Provider: SPECIALIST TRADE COURSES LIMITED
  • Start date: 01 February 2019
  • Location: Harold Wood

Pre-Apprenticeship in Rail Track Engineering

  • Provider: WKCIC GROUP
  • Start date: 23 April 2019
  • Location: Enfield

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