Is this role right for you?
Finding a fault in a complex system isn’t always easy. So, you’ll need to enjoy digging deeper, developing theories, and proving them. Then, you’ll use your specialised electrical and mechanical skills to complete repairs. Signals systems are central to rail safety. You’ll always use good judgement and communicate openly and honestly with your team. New standards and technology are being adopted by the railway industry. This means you must be able to adapt and be willing to learn new skills and tasks.
What are some example projects or experiences?
Some of the most exciting developments in rail are occurring in signalling and communications, as new passenger rail networks incorporate cutting edge high-capacity signalling. This means more trains can use the same tracks with improved reliability and safety. Sensor technology provides the exact position, direction and speed of a train to operations centres. Traditional trackside signalling is being brought into the driver’s cabin using GPS and mobile technology. Signalling technicians are bringing all of this together on new and existing train networks. Signalling technicians conduct inspections, investigate incidents, and perform testing and monitoring on existing networks. They check to make sure mechanical and electrical signalling equipment works and perform routine maintenance to minimise train disruptions.
What is the work environment like?
As an apprentice, you’ll learn your trade from experienced trainers and senior electricians. You’ll spend time in classrooms, workshops, and trackside as you complete your training and start your career. Once qualified, you’ll be part of a team that maintains and fixes equipment along the rail network. You’ll work within the rail corridor alongside trains or on construction sites. You could also work at heights, in tunnels, or in advanced control centres. You may work weekends, night shift or rotating rosters. You may work on call to respond to emergencies on the network. Many jobs are in cities and towns. Some are in regional and remote locations. You could find yourself working in Australia’s goldfields, across Queensland’s vast outback, or in Sydney’s central business district.
Eligibility & pathways
To work as a signalling technician, you require a Certificate III Mechanical Rail Signalling, a Certificate III Electrical Fitter or a Certificate IV Electrical Rail Signalling, or another electrical trade qualification. You may also need an electrical licence in the state where you plan to work. If you don’t have experience or qualifications, there are many apprenticeship opportunities which provide you with all the training you’ll need. You’ll complete a vocational training course and receive a certificate level qualification while you work. If you already have a relevant trade certificate but have not worked in rail before, many employers provide the additional training you’ll need to work in the rail industry. Typically, you’ll progress from an entry level position (apprentice) to more senior roles such as a team leader, specialist and manager