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Rolling stock engineering technician

Alternative titles for this job include Rail engineering technician

Rolling stock technicians help engineers make, test, install and maintain rail vehicles like wagons, coaches and locomotives.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£34,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 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 rolling stock 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 Competence

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. Look for opportunities with organisations like:

  • Network Rail
  • Transport for London
  • private companies that build and maintain railway systems and rolling stock

You'll learn some skills that are common across all rail technician roles along with specific training for traction and rolling stock work.

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 as a rail track maintenance worker. With experience and further training, you could then apply for a trainee technician role.

Direct Application

To apply directly, you'll find it useful to have experience and qualifications from other engineering jobs like:

  • mechanical fitter
  • electrical maintenance technician
  • automotive or aircraft maintenance
  • engineering craftsperson
  • coach builder
  • construction plant technician

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:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • concentration skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • pass a medical check

The medical check will include testing your hearing and vision as you will be working in a safety critical environment, around live wires and on train tracks.

You can also expect to be regularly spot-tested for drugs and alcohol when in this role.

It can be helpful to have a driving licence and your own transport to start shifts outside public transport hours.

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:

  • read and follow written technical instructions
  • 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 dirty and outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

There are opportunities to move on in your career with:

  • train operating companies
  • London Underground
  • light rail and metro companies
  • rail freight and leasing firms
  • specialist rail engineering maintenance companies

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

You may be able to go on to do a degree to become a qualified engineer.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

London Underground Electrical installation Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £23,404.00 Annually
  • Location: London

LU Engineering Vehicles Maintenance Level 3 Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £23,404.00 Annually
  • Location: London

Courses In England

Rail Engineering Track Maintenance PTS

  • Provider: Capital City College Group
  • Start date: 11 January 2025
  • Location: London

Rail Engineering Track Maintenance Level 2

  • Start date: 13 May 2024
  • Location: Birmingham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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