Signalling technician

Career outlook for

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

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

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

Hours

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

Environment

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.

Travel

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

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Working on your own
  • Working with your hands
  • Repairing and fixing
  • Using computers
  • Being physically fit
  • Working with numbers
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

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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.

Qualifications

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