Did you know?

There are more than 170 rail companies, in 2013, dealing with passengers and freight operators, track owners, manufacturers and rail suppliers in urban and rural areas of Australia and New Zealand.

Please Note

As of 30th June, 2014 the CRC for Rail Innovation will formally end its program of research. We thank you for your support and participation. Any queries refer to www.acri.net.au

Pathways to a career in Rail

Whatever your interests or qualifications, a career in rail offers you size, locations and variety unlike any other industry. Rail is an industry that contributes billions of dollars to the Australasian economy and employs more than 100,000 people.

Rail literally has an A-Z of careers that gives you the ability to really design your career. Whether that is one chosen career path or to seek out a range of flexible and varying career pathways depending on your interests and ambitions.  

The rail industry provides a wide range of opportunities from train drivers to tradespeople to engineers and customer service. There are opportunities for a professional career in marketing, sales, human resources (HR), training and development, work health and safety (WHS), finance, administration, legal, and information technology (IT) as well as a construction, operational and infrastructure careers.

Who will find the website useful?

Current Australian and New Zealand rail employees, supervisors, managers, human resources staff, and trainers and assessors. People from outside the rail industry including job seekers, skilled migrants, students, parents, careers advisors, and employment agencies can use the website to build a basic understanding of careers in the Australasian rail industry.

So, where do you want to go?

Jump on board and discover for yourself the enormous range of jobs and career opportunities open to you.

The Rail Career Pathways portal has been made possible through funding from the Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation and the participation of the Australasian rail industry.

The two main areas of rail

Essentially the Australasian Rail Industry is made up of two components: Passenger Transport and Freight Transport.

Passenger Transport

Rail and light rail (trams) in Australia and New Zealand have experienced a resurgence in popularity in the past decade, with patronage reaching record levels.

Increased demand has resulted in growth in revenue from ticket sales, as well as subsidies and grants from governments. Growing demand has been driven by several factors, including increases in the cost of petrol and other costs associated with passenger vehicles such as parking and time spent in traffic jams.

Strong economic growth, population growth, increased services and lower real fares have also increased patronage.

Passenger rail employs approximately 20,000 people.

Freight Transport

Rail also carries a good deal of freight, and tonnage has increased in both Australia and New Zealand.

Much of the growth in freight tonnes is attributable to an increase in the trade and transport of iron ore and coal.

However, there is increasing pressure for freight to be moved by rail, rather than on the road, due to road transport congestion and safety and environmental concerns.

The freight industry has created many jobs in private rail companies as well as in the public sector.

Rail and safety

The rail industry can be a dangerous environment with potential dangers on or near train tracks (the rail corridor). Other dangers include electrified areas, possible derailments, collisions, level crossing occurrences and loading, as well as the more common hazards of office safety and fatigue.

The responsibility for rail safety in Australia and New Zealand is shared by government and industry.

Rail safety regulators are responsible for establishing standards in rail safety management and monitoring the industry's compliance with the standards in order to meet community expectations and maintain public confidence.

The rail industry takes safety of staff, contractors and the general public extremely seriously.

Regardless of the country or state, all organisations have stringent requirements; and depending on your role, you will undertake safe work training and accreditation.

All organisations have policies and procedures regarding safety, including zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs, with mandatory and on-the-spot testing which can take place at any time.

The rail industry workforce is made up of three main functional areas

Assets and Infrastructure

People who work in assets and infrastructure include: infrastructure workers, engineers, tradespeople, technicians and others who are responsible for developing and maintaining infrastructure such as rolling stock, track, communications and control systems, structures such as buildings and bridges, major projects, associated capital works and strategic asset management.

Operations and Service Delivery

People who work in this area are those who have direct contact with our customers and the operation of the trains.

For example, areas such as customer service, train crewing, station operations, train maintenance and operations (e.g. drivers, signallers, guards and attendants), presentation services (cleaning) and security.

Corporate Support

This area is one of the most diverse areas with regards to the types of jobs available and skills required. Jobs range from entry level roles such as administrative support workers to professionals with university degrees.

Corporate support can be broken down into a range of business support areas including work health and safety (WHS), finance, human resources (HR), training and development, legal, communications and marketing, and information technology.