Careers in Rail Transport

The rail industry is made up of freight companies that operate or hire railways for the transportation of freight or provide services allied to railway transport; and companies operating railways for the transportation of passengers.

A major factor affecting this industry is the ageing workforce. Positions in short supply include drivers, overhead catenary maintainers, wagon maintainers, operational maintainers, train controllers, mechanical and electrical tradespeople, perway patrollers, signal technicians, project managers, engineers and specialists in areas such as train services and train management.

Critical Skills Shortage Occupations

  • Transport engineer
  • Train controller
  • Railway track plant operator
  • Train driver
  • Railway track worker

Positions, training and available jobs

The list below contains some of the possible positions that can be held in the Rail industry. Following the links will provide more information on the positions, the associated qualifications and job vacancies in WA.

* Please note that this list is a guide and titles and qualifications can vary.

Rail Occupations
Job TitleQualificationJob Vacancies
ShunterCertificate II in ShuntingShunter
SignallerCertificate III in Rail SignallingSignaller
Mobile Plant OperatorCertificate II in Rail InfrastructureMobile Plant Operator
Track WorkerCertificate II in Rail InfrastructureTrack Worker
Crew Rostering ClerkCertificate III in Rail Customer ServiceCrew Rostering Clerk
Per Way PatrollerCertificate III in Rail InfrastructurePerway Patroller
Transit OfficerCertificate III in Security Operations (Construction & Property Services)Transit Officer
Signal MaintainerCertificate III in Mechanical Rail SignallingSignal Maintainer
Train DriverCertificate IV in Train DrivingTrain Driver
Train ControllerCertificate IV in Rail Network ControlTrain Controller
Train PlannerCertificate IV in Rail InfrastructureTrain Planner
Operations ManagerCertificate IV in Rail InfrastructureOperations Manager (Rail)
Rail Safety ManagerCertificate IV in Rail InfrastructureRail Safety Manager
Safeworking SupervisorCertificate IV in Rail InfrastructureSafeworking Supervisor
Signal Technician Certificate IV in Electrical-Rail SignallingSignal Technician
Terminal Manager (Rail)Diploma of LogisticsTerminal Manager (Rail)
ElectricianCertificate III in Rail – Communications and NetworksElectrician
Fitter and TurnerCertificate III in Engineering – Mechanical TradeFitter and Turner
Operational MaintainerRelevant skills setsOperational Maintainer
Track MaintainerCertificate III in Rail InfrastructureTrack Maintainer
Track WelderCertificate III in Rail InfrastructureTrack Welder
EngineerAppropriate degree and specialised graduate programEngineer

Qualification Profile of Workforce

Training has traditionally been on a needs basis. The industry is heavily regulated, with qualifications linked to regulatory requirements, which is where most training has occurred. The industry has recognised the need to train and develop its workforce for future needs.

Approximately 45% of rail workers in WA have no post school qualifications; 31% have a certificate qualification; 6% have a diploma qualification and 13% have tertiary qualifications.  National indications approximately 58% of railway track workers and 52% of train drivers have no post school qualifications; with training predominantly linked to regulatory requirements. This means that many workers may have achieved skill sets but not whole qualifications. However, the level of training for these workers has increased in recent years, particularly with the introduction of new qualifications by the TLISC.

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