Train conductor

guard train crew
Retail and customer services

Career outlook for train conductor

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "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 issue tickets to rail passengers and make sure that their journey is safe and comfortable.

You would:

  • Check the carriages are clean before the start of a journey
  • Make sure equipment, doors and controls are working properly
  • Walk through carriages during the journey, checking tickets and travel documents
  • Answer passengers' questions about routes, arrival times and connections
  • Make announcements over the public address system
  • Make sure passengers get on and off the train safely
  • Deal with unexpected delays or emergencies such as a passenger falling ill
  • Write reports on any delays or issues that occur

It would be important to have a good understanding of rail regulations, safety procedures, fares and timetables.

Working conditions


You would usually work 35 to 37 hours a week, possibly on a shift system including early mornings, late nights and weekends.


You would work from a cab on the train, normally with a computer terminal and communications equipment that allows you to speak to the driver and make announcements. Your employer would supply you with a uniform.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Resilience
  • Cooperating
  • Supporting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Observation
  • Respecting
  • Taking initiative
  • Recalling

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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.


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5. Most employers value a good general education.

A satisfactory standard of English is important, together with confident money-handling skills. 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths

You will also need

Before entering the job you will need to pass:

  • an interview at an assessment centre
  • a medical examination to check fitness, eyesight, colour vision, hearing and any alcohol or drugs use

Once you start work you could be tested for drugs or alcohol at any time. 

You may need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show helping customers, cash handling, health and safety awareness and physical fitness such as Skills for Work Travel and Tourism (SCQF level 4/5) or Uniformed and Emergency Services (SCQF level 4).

Communication and language qualifications may also be helpful such as SQA Modern Languages for Life & Work Award (SCQF level 3/4).