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Signalling technician

Alternative titles for this job include

Signalling technicians identify problems, repair, maintain and test the equipment that moves trains safely.

Average salary (a year)

£16,500 Starter


£43,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 43 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 signalling technician

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


The following apprenticeships are relevant to this role:

  • rail engineering technician advanced apprenticeship
  • rail engineering advanced technician higher apprenticeship
  • high speed rail and infrastructure technician higher apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are offered by rail and tram operating companies, Transport for London and Network Rail.

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You may be able to apply directly to rail engineering companies if you've got experience and qualifications in electrical or electronic engineering from another industry, or from the armed forces.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You can apply to join the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, which offers professional development training to its members.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in the rail industry from Network Rail and Tomorrow's Engineers.

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
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

As you will work in a safety critical environment around live wires and on train tracks, you will have a medical as part of the selection process. This will include checking your hearing and vision.

You may also have to take regular drug and alcohol checks.

For some roles you will need a driving licence so you can drive rail company vehicles.

You may also be required to live no more than an hour away from the location you wish to work.

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:

  • install new signalling systems
  • carry out routine maintenance checks
  • measure and record equipment test readings
  • upgrade radio and electronic communications networks
  • find and fix equipment faults on-site
  • repair more complex faults back in the workshop

Working environment

You could work on rail tracks, in a control room or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be noisy, outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move from junior to senior technician jobs and take on team leading responsibilities.

With more qualifications and experience you could become a signalling designer or incident investigator.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Rail Engineering Technician Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £15,817.00 Annually
  • Location: Allerton, Liverpool

Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship - Rail Engineering: Birmingham

  • Wage: £22,350.00 Annually
  • Location: Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, Birmingham

Courses In England

Rail Engineering Track Maintenance PTS - Level 2 NVQ Certificate

  • Provider: Capital City College Group
  • Start date: 29 May 2023
  • Location: London


  • Start date: 11 September 2023
  • Location: Lincoln

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