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Job Description

Rail Engineering Technicians are responsible for maintaining, replacing, repairing and testing mechanical, electrical and pneumatic systems on trains.

They carrying out regular maintenance checks on systems such as brakes and couplings and fit out new carriages with upholstery, lighting, control panels and communication systems.

Entry Requirements

You could get into this role through an apprenticeship or by starting out as rail track maintenance worker and working your way towards becoming a technician


You may be able to find an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3) as a rail engineering technician with Network Rail.

You will usually need

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent including English and maths for an advanced apprenticeship 
Work based route

You could start out as a rail track maintenance worker and with experience and further training, apply for a technician role.

You could apply directly for a rail technician role but you will usually need experience and qualifications as a mechanical fitter, electrician or craftsperson with a rail engineering company or experience from a similar area of engineering such as construction plant technician.

Other information

You must pass a medical check which tests physical fitness, hearing and eyesight. You may also have to take an aptitude test to assess your skills.

Network Rail and Transport for London have more information about this job role.

Career Path and Progression

You'll take work-based qualifications in personal track safety, installation, testing and maintenance.

You may work for train operating companies, London Underground, light rail and metro companies, rail freight and leasing firms. Specialist rail engineering maintenance companies are also big employers.

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

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Lift engineer
  • Rail track maintenance worker
  • Signalling technician
  • Train driver

Required Skills

You'll need:

  • a good level of fitness
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
  • good problem solving abilities
  • an awareness of health and safety procedures
  • flexibility to be able to cover shifts including weekends
  • thorough and pay attention to detail
  • able to remain calm in stressful situations

Salary Range

£18,000 to £35,000

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