Starting in rail

There are many ways to start a career in rail

Whatever your situation, there are countless opportunities to explore in rail.

Are you a recent school leaver, or a qualified and skilled professional in need of a change?

The rail industry needs passionate people in trades, engineering, customer service, training, finance and business development, to name a few.

If you’re just starting out, an apprenticeship or university degree is a great way to learn specialised skills. Or why not explore an entry level program? They can give you all the training you need to launch your career.

It’s different everyday

We move millions of people every year and I’m very proud to be part of the team
Khaled, Network Controller

Qualified tradespeople perform most of the maintenance and construction work in rail. They build bridges and tunnels, lay new track, maintain diesel engines, and much more.

The most common way to learn a trade is to do an apprenticeship. This combines on and off the job learning to help you build knowledge and skills.

Find out about trades and apprenticeships.

Tertiary study, cadetships and graduate positions

We’re always looking for university graduates in areas such as engineering, information technology, customer service, and operations.

Most rail organisations offer graduate programs to accelerate your career in rail and provide valuable work experience and connections.

Find out about tertiary study, cadetships and graduate positions.

Trainees and work experience

There are several entry-level pathways which give you practical experience in how rail networks and infrastructure operates.

Trainees earn a wage while completing nationally recognised training. This training can be part-time or full-time.

Work experience placements are another great way to make connections and get a feel for the industry before starting your career.

Learn about trainees and work experience.

Move from another industry

You may already have the career experience and qualifications we’re looking for. The fresh perspective and expertise you bring will be highly regarded in the rail industry.

If you’ve worked in industries like information technology, infrastructure, transport, construction, logistics and mining, you could be ready for a role that’s recruiting right now.

Many employers will also help you complete bridging qualifications or specialised training as needed, to set you up for success.

Courses from the Australasian Railway Association

The Australasian Railway Association coordinates four courses suitable for newcomers to the rail industry. Students who successfully complete these courses receive a Certificate of Completion and a Credly badge.

View upcoming courses.

Understanding Rail

A comprehensive introduction to the rail industry. You’ll boost your rail industry knowledge and learn from some of the industry’s most respected experts.

Introduction to Rail Signalling

Learn from an internationally recognised signalling engineer about mechanical, electrical, and digital signalling.

Introduction to Rollingstock

Explores the variety of ways trains are used and designed, the impact of terrain on train design, and propulsion systems including diesel, electric, battery/electric and hydrogen.

Introduction to Rail Operations

This course introduces passenger, freight, and heavy haul rail operations. You’ll cover important issues such as safety, incident management, and systems integration.