Lookouts keep a continuous watch for approaching trains. They warn workers so they can move themselves and their tools to safety.

Is this role right for you?

You must be able to stay focused and alert for long periods, as you’ll be responsible for the safety of your colleagues working near railway tracks. You’ll plan your activities carefully, value safety first, and know how to communicate clearly.

What is the work environment like?

You’ll be part of a team that builds and maintains infrastructure along the rail network. You’ll work within the rail corridor, alongside trains, or on construction sites to alert workers to approaching trains. In most roles you’ll wear protective and safety equipment such as a hardhat, gloves, and hi-visibility clothing. Worksites are often exposed to weather so you may need to work in the heat, cold, wind and rain. You may be required to do shift work, including nights, weekends, rotating rosters and public holidays. You can find work as a lookout all around Australia. Most jobs are in cities and towns. Some are in remote areas.

Eligibility & pathways

Lookouts need training on the rail network they intend to work on. Rail operators sometimes provide this training through a registered training organisation. Training requirements vary across different railway networks. You’ll learn to:

  • identify effective lookout positions
  • operate warning lights and audible warning equipment
  • use hand signals to communicate with train drivers

Accredited training is usually all or part of a Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure. Lookouts also need to complete track safety training and hold a general construction induction card (White Card).

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Avenues of Entry
Pay Range
Entry level
$82,000 - $96,000

Salaries may vary outside of these ranges, based on company size and location, level of experience, competence and time in role.