You could start out by doing another job that shows you have an interest in the industry, like passenger assistant. You can then apply for trainee driver posts.
How to become a Train driver
You can get into this job through:
- working towards this role
- applying directly
Typically you would apply directly to a train operating company to become a train driver.
Some employers may expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths or equivalent qualifications.
You may find it useful to have some mechanical or electrical knowledge.
You can find out more about how to become a train driver from Careers That Move.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- concentration skills
- 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
- knowledge of public safety and security
- observation and recording skills
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
- being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.
Restrictions and requirements
You'll need to:
- to be over 20 years of age
- to live within 1 hour (travel time) of the area you're applying for
- pass enhanced background checks
- pass a medical check
What you'll do
In this role you could be:
- checking equipment and engines
- contacting control centres for information about routes and any problems
- following signalling instructions during the journey
- making passenger announcements
- controlling automatic doors
- positioning and handing over engines to drivers on the next shift
- recording incidents like equipment problems, dangers and delays
You could work from a vehicle.
Your working environment may be noisy and you may spend nights away from home.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
Your train driver training will usually take around 12 months. Once you've completed this, you could also work for a rail engineering company, driving on-track machines used in maintenance work.
With experience you could take further training to become a train driver trainer, teaching other trainee drivers.
You could also move into management, making sure there are enough train drivers and trains so that the service can run on time. From there you could move into operations or senior management.
Apprenticeships In England
We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Train driver right now.
The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.
Courses In England
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