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Rail engineering technician

Alternative titles for this job include Rolling stock engineer

Rail engineering technicians install and service mechanical and electrical systems across the rail network

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 47 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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


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

More Information


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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • pass a medical check

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

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • help to build new engines and carriages
  • fit out carriages with lighting, upholstery, control panels and communication systems
  • inspect bodywork, roofs and undercarriages for wear and tear or damage
  • repair or replace parts
  • carry out regular checks on brakes and couplings
  • take apart, test and reassemble mechanical, electrical and pneumatic systems
  • write reports and update 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Rail Engineering Technician Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £14,000.00 Annually
  • Location:

Courses In England

Rail Engineering Track Maintenance Level 2 NVQ Diploma

  • Start date: 08 November 2021
  • Location: Shipley

Rail Track Maintenance - Level 2 Certificate - Pre-Apprenticeship

  • Provider: Capital City College Group
  • Start date: 06 January 2022
  • Location: London

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