How to become a railway signaller
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you'll need in this job.
You could do a course like the Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Rail Services.
You would usually need to be working in the rail industry or be on a placement to be able to complete this course.
You'll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You could do a:
- Rail Engineering Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
- Rail Infrastructure Operator Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
- Rail Infrastructure Operator Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
- Rail Engineering Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship and choose the signalling specialist pathway
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can apply directly to become a railway signaller with Network Rail, who operate the rail system. You'll need a general standard of education, including English and maths GCSEs
You do not need any specific experience to become a railway signaller. However it might be useful to have worked in a role:
- that is safety critical
- where you need to concentrate
- that involves communicating with others
Assessment and interview
You'll go through initial checks before being invited to an assessment day and interview.
Non-technical skills are important in railways signalling jobs. During the assessment day, you'll be tested on skills like safety awareness, staying calm under pressure and working with large amounts of information.
You can find out more about the Network Rail recruitment process to become a signaller.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) for professional development.
You can find out more about becoming a railway signaller from the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) and Network Rail.