Career outlook for signalling technician

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would look after the signalling systems on rail networks to make sure trains run safely and on time. You would also work with the telecommunications equipment that links different parts of the rail network to control centres.

You would:

  • Install new signalling systems
  • Carry out checks
  • Measure and record equipment test readings
  • Improve radio and electronic communications networks
  • Find and fix equipment faults on site
  • Fix more complex faults back in the workshop

You would work from technical diagrams and use electrical and computer-controlled instruments to test and inspect equipment. You would use hand and power tools to carry out repair work.

It would be important to understand health and safety rules.

Working conditions


You would usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, possibly on a shift system including nights and weekends.


You would spend your time either in a signal control centre, an engineering workshop, or outdoors, trackside. It would be essential that you follow track safety procedures and use protective clothing and equipment at all times.


You would usually have to travel to different parts of the track network each day. Overnight stays away from home may sometimes be necessary.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Taking responsibility
  • Taking initiative
  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Understanding
  • Working with technology
  • Verbal communication
  • Observation
  • Working with numbers
  • Problem solving

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


The main employer of signalling technicians in Britain is Network Rail. It offers a Modern Apprenticeship which requires four National 5 qualifications (SCQF level 5) or equivalent for entry.

You can also apply if you have relevant engineering, mechanical or construction work experience and qualifications.

If you have a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in electrical, mechanical or systems engineering you may be eligible for an electrical engineering conversion course or graduate scheme.

Useful subjects

Most employers require:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Technologies subjects such as engineering

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Rail Engineering (SCQF Level 5) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.

If you are an undergraduate you can apply for a work placement with Network Rail to gain relevant experience.

Explore more information about this job