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With almost 200 job families in the rail industry, the A-Z provides a short description of the most common jobs found in the Australasian rail industry. Each job definition includes its job title, the main parts of the job, entrance requirements and necessary qualifications.

Panel Beater

Strips, repairs, replaces, fits and adjusts body panels of trains and other rail vehicles after an accident or modification. In Australia, usually requires a trade apprenticeship in automotive vehicle body repairs. Training is usually both on and off the job. Entry requirements vary, but employers generally require completion of high school. In NZ, although there are no specific entry requirements, to become a qualified panel beater you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a Level 4 certificate with a strand in collision repair. You need to be interested in technology as you will use the latest technology to carry out repairs and alterations. Being patient and having an eye for detail is necessary.

Payroll Clerk

Assists the payroll or accounting team. Calculates and distributes wages, including overtime, and deductions such as tax and superannuation. May be required to have vocational business, accounting or finance qualifications.

Payroll Officer

Prepares payrolls and related records for employee salaries and statutory record-keeping purposes. Tasks include: creating and updating files for employees such as their personal information, leave, overtime, tax deductions and health insurance payments. They also prepare payroll data, payments, interpret awards and provide information. Although there is no entry requirement, a certificate or diploma in business, accounting or financial services is highly regarded.

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Personal Assistant

Assists their manager (or others) with daily management, scheduling of meetings, correspondence and note taking. Personal assistants need to have good administration and computer skills and may have vocational qualifications in administration or business services.

Platform Manager

Oversees country or interstate passenger services on a day-to-day basis. No formal qualifications are required to be a platform manager, but platform experience and management skills are necessary.

Policy Advisor

Advises rail executives or governments on the effectiveness of current policies relating to passenger or freight rail. This position usually requires a degree relating to the policy area (e.g. safety, engineering) and rail experience. Needs strong research, analysis and writing skills.

Policy Officer

Advises rail executives or governments on the effectiveness of current policies relating to passenger or freight rail. This position usually requires a degree relating to the policy area (e.g. safety, engineering) and rail experience. Needs strong research, analysis and writing skills.

PR Assistant

Usually provides administration support to the public relations (PR) manager, communications or marketing team. May be a recent public relations, marketing or advertising graduate or someone with strong strong administrative, organisational and writing skills.

PR Officer or Media Officer

Develops and implements strategies that create a favourable view of rail such as publicity campaigns, public opinion research, seminars and social functions. You need to be highly skilled and versatile with excellent oral and written communication. Requires a public relations-related bachelor degree in business, communications or media studies.

Presentation Service Attendant

Keeps trains, and sometimes station platforms, clean and safe for passengers. They remove rubbish, clean windows, sweep and mop carriages and remove graffiti from inside and outside of trains. They perform major or heavy cleaning on trains and also clean amenities (rest rooms) and offices. You need good communication skills, be fit, strong, work quickly, yet efficiently and safely, and take pride in your work. There are no specific requirements but completion of relevant secondary school is necessary. You will learn on the job and may be offered a traineeship. There are also vocational qualifications you can do in cleaning operations.

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Principal Driver

Organises and conducts assessments, and coaches and develops drivers as needed by the rail organisation. A principal driver is considered a technical expert. Current competence in driving trains is essential plus a certificate qualification in workplace training and assessment.

Procurement Manager

Manages others who: prepare and manage proposal requests, write tenders and review the bidding process. Procurement managers are generally found in large organisations with a centralised purchasing department. In the rail industry, a procurement manager generally requires procurement experience in rail and a business degree.

Procurement Officer

Prepares and manages proposal requests, writes tenders and reviews the bidding process. Generally found in large organisations with a centralised purchasing department. Generally requires a business degree, and must be thorough with excellent writing skills.

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Project Administrator

Usually provides high level administration support for large projects e.g. new rail infrastructure, and works closely with project managers and other engineers. Depending on the project, specific qualifications may be required. A project administrator requires excellent written and oral communication, administration and project management skills, be highly organised, results-driven and with an eye for detail.

Project Costing Analyst

Provides information, relating specifically to costs, to engineers and project managers on large infrastructure projects . Will generally come from an engineering or finance background with strong project management expertise and specific rail experience.

Project Design Engineer

Manages designs for small projects, or design components for large scale projects, so that resource requirements and timing can be identified and managed. Requires a bachelor degree in a relevant engineering discipline.

Project Engineer

Ensures that engineering projects are planned, installed, inspected and tested to design and specification standards and schedule requirements. You need excellent communication and organisational skills, be able to meet deadlines and problem-solve. To be a project engineer, you will need an advanced diploma or bachelor degree in engineering or project management.

Project Manager

Plans, schedules, coordinates and manages projects. These include engineering and information and communication technology (ICT) to ensure objectives and specifications come in to budget and on time. Requires tertiary qualifications or equivalent experience including engineering, ICT or project management.

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Project Officer

Oversees the management of specific projects from its beginning to completion. Depending on the role, a project officer may need relevant qualifications (e.g. training, human resources) or very strong organisational and project management skills, and rail knowledge and experience. Often done as a fixed term contract or secondment between business units.

Project Planner

Focuses on schedules and project plans. A project planner monitors progress and writes reports. Requires an engineering degree, experience in new railway environments and experience working on a large infrastructure engineering project. Must enjoy writing, be thorough and with an eye for detail and accuracy.

Project Support Officer

Assists project officers and others (such as project managers and senior staff) with support services and administration tasks. Responsibilities could include: coordination of project, budgeting, reporting on milestones and progress, as well as project issues and risks. They need to enjoy collecting information and data. Project support officers are found working across the rail industry. Specific qualifications are not required, but they need to be efficient, organised, great communicators and enjoy writing. Good computer and data entry skills are necessary. Project management skills are an added benefit.

Promotions and Events Coordinator

Plans events such as conferences, meetings, fundraising events and conventions. A qualification, such as in events management, may be required plus a proven track record of planning successful events. Resourcefulness, patience, determination and superior organisation skills are essential to succeed in this role.

Promotions Officer

Assists marketing, public relations (PR) or events management teams on special projects such as conferences, meetings, fundraising events and conventions. You will need good communication skills, be organised, creative, enjoy people and being in the public, as well as able to think on your feet and problem-solve. You may be required to have qualifications in public relations, marketing, advertising or events management.

Property Manager

Manages and supervises commercial, industrial and retail properties that are owned or leased by the rail organisation. Although no specific qualifications are required, a nationally accredited short course in property services or a VET qualification in property services (real estate) may be helpful. Requires excellent oral and written communication skills, good administration and an eye for detail.

Protection Engineer

Provides professional engineering and specialist technical expertise for the design, test, installation and commissioning of electrical power protection systems. Requires a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and technical knowledge/experience in electricity distribution networks.

Protection Officer

Provides technical expertise to professional engineers on the design, test, installation and commissioning of electrical power protection systems. Requires a certificate III in an electrical trade and work experience.

Public Relations Officer

Plans, develops, implements and evaluates information that promote the rail organisation within the community. This may include press releases, publicity campaigns and communication strategies. As a PR officer, you may also be involved in public opinion research, special events, seminars, entertainment, competitions and other social functions. Generally, will require a public-relations related degree, for example business or communication management or media studies. You may also come via work experience in administration or another related area.

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Purchasing Officer

Organises, records and monitors expenditure on behalf of an operational manager or project manager. May also be part of the finance team approving purchases. No specific qualifications are required but a background in accounts or bookkeeping would be helpful. You need to be computer literate, methodical, pay attention to detail and have sound literacy and numeracy skills.