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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.

Safety Analyst

Tests and analyses rail environments, equipment, chemicals or structures to ensure the safety of workers and civilians. Depending on the role, educational requirements for a safety analyst may include a bachelor degree in engineering. Environmental and occupational health employers may require you to hold a bachelor degree in work health and safety.

Safety Auditor

Plans, implements, reports and monitors work health and safety (WHS) management systems against specific standards. Depending on the role, educational requirements may include a bachelor's degree in engineering. Environmental and occupational health employers may require a bachelor degree in work health and safety plus specialist training in safety auditing.

SCADA Engineer

Works on centralised 'supervisory control and data acquisition’ computer systems. Requires a degree in electrical or electronics engineering, computer science or information technology, as well as SCADA experience.

SCADA System Engineer

Works on centralised ‘supervisory control and data acquisition’ computer systems. Requires a degree in electrical or electronics engineering, computer science or information technology, as well as SCADA experience.

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SCADA Technician

Works on centralised ‘supervisory control and data acquisition’ computer systems. Requires at least a diploma in electrical or electronics engineering, computer science or information technology as well as SCADA knowledge and experience. May come from an electronics apprenticeship.

School Travel Consultant

Provides information to schools and parents on rail travel. They organise and monitor schemes such as free student travel at the end of school term and organise school group bookings. Other tasks include providing Information on train timetables, accomodation, and bus transport. There are no formal qualifications and much of what you learn will be on the job and through in-house training courses. Customer service skills and knowledge of rail industry required.

School Travel Officer

Provides information to schools and parents on rail travel. They organise and monitor schemes such as free student travel at the end of school term and organise school group bookings. Other tasks include providing Information on train timetables, accomodation, and bus transport. There are no formal qualifications and much of what you learn will be on the job and through in-house training courses. Customer service skills and knowledge of rail industry required.

Senior Commercial Lawyer

Reviews and advises on the content of legal contracts and participates in negotiations including purchase of lands for rail infrastructure projects and purchasing rolling stock. A law degree and significant commercial experience in rail environments or similar is required.

Sheet Metal Worker

Includes boilermaking, blacksmithing and welding to cut, shape, join and finish metal to make, maintain or repair metal products and structures. Structures include ducts, linings and doors for rolling stock. To be a sheet metal worker, you need good eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, an eye for detail and patience to produce well-made and accurate products and structures. Requires a Certificate III in Fabrication (Trade) apprenticeship and trade certificate.

Shunter

Safely moves trains between the yards and platforms – they marshal the trains, hook on locomotives and detach defective carriages. They also direct and move freight trains, organise rail freight and conduct safety checks. You may become a shunter without formal qualifications but you will need to have completed a relevant secondary school qualification. You will receive intensive on and off the job training once employed and some rail companies may offer a traineeship.

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Signal Box Manager

Manages the day-to-day operation, staff, and maintenance of the signal box and surrounding rail environment. Signal box qualifications and experience required. This is not an entry position and you will need extensive experience in train operations to become a signal box manager. Other qualities and skills needed include good literacy and communication skills, ability to plan, manage staff, and possibly training skills.

Signal Electrician

Installs and maintains signalling systems for trains and automobiles. You may be required to have a Cert IV in Rail Signalling, and a signal electricians licence.

Signal Mechanic (trade)

Constructs and maintains signalling infrastructure and equipment. Requires a Certificate III mechanical trade qualification. You may also need a signal mechanic’s licence. You will need good literacy and numeracy skills at a relevant high school level, be precise and accurate, have a high regard for safety, and an interest in technical and manual activities to become a signal mechanic.

Signalling Engineer

Specialises in the design, construction, maintenance or project management of signalling systems. To be a signalling engineer, you will need an engineering degree in electrical, electronic, computer systems, telecommunications or mechatronics.

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Skills Recognition Officer

Works in training and development to identify skills of employees and to map their skills to accredited VET qualifications. Requires at minimum, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and rail experience, or the ability to work with line managers and rail employees. You need good literacy, computer and communication skills, be well organised and pay attention to detail to be in this career.

Software Engineer

Designs, develops, tests and maintains specific program codes to user requirements and system and technical specifications. Generally, this role requires a related bachelor degree and/or experience with rail-related computer software.

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Software Specialist

Designs, maintains and implements database management systems, computer applications and operating systems; they also analyse organisational software needs, devise solutions and maintain PC software and hardware systems. In the modern rail work environment, software specialists are among the most sought-after IT professionals in the workplace. Generally, this role requires a related bachelor degree.

Solicitor

Ensures an organisation complies with the law by providing legal advice, preparing and drafting legal documents, carrying out research, and conducting negotiations, including court cases, on behalf of the rail organisation. As a rail industry solicitor, you may be involved with major infrastructure projects, public/private partnerships, and corporate mergers and acquisitions. Requires a bachelor degree in law and practical training, plus professional membership.

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Special Events Officer

Obtains and documents information relating to special events e.g. hiring a train, filming at a railway station or organising visits from polititians. No specific requirements, but experienece/qualifications in events or project management and good administration and time management skills are desirable.

Standards and Compliance Officer

Works across the rail organisation to ensure people are working to standard and have the required competencies. Areas may include signal box operations, train planning and safety. No specific qualifications, but extensive operational experience is required. You will need excellent written and oral communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to follow through on issues.

Station Assistant

Performs the tasks of a customer service attendant, such as general administration, customer service and cleaning duties. Also records train movements and provides information on delays. Cert II or Cert III in Station Operations desirable. You will need good communication, literacy and numeracy skills, able to work alone and as part of a team, be self-directed and enjoy helping others.

Station Manager/Master

Manages the operations of a railway station, including day-to-day running, preparing budgets, handling logistics, hiring staff, supervising employees and liaising with the public. Generally requires a formal qualification such as an associate degree or diploma. At least three years of relevant experience may substitute for formal qualifications. Teamwork and customer service skills are important for this position.

Stores Clerk

Receives and distributes equipment, materials and supplies. Organises requisitions, maintains disbursements, oversees inventory, credit and exchange records; and writes reports. No specific qualification required but completion of relevant secondary subjects such as maths is important, as is record-keeping ability. Experience in inventory control and good computer and communication skills desirable. May be required to gain licences such as a forklift licence.

Structural Engineer

Analyses and designs structures that support or resist loads, such as buildings, bridges, machinery and vehicles. Structural engineering is usually considered a speciality within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right. Requires a degree in civil engineering or structural engineering.

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Structural Engineering

Structural engineering deals with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right. Structural engineers are most commonly involved in the design of buildings and structures but can also design the machinery or vehicles where structural integrity affects the item's function or safety.

Substation Electrician or Technician

Installs and maintains equipment for electricity distribution networks including substations and overhead wiring networks. Requires a Certificate IV in Substations and is usually open to electrical apprentices or qualified electricians.

Substation Technician

Installs and maintains equipment for electricity distribution networks including substations and overhead wiring networks. Requires a Certificate IV in Substations and is usually open to electrical apprentices or qualified electricians.

Succession Planner

Identifies and develops internal people with the potential to fill key positions in an organisation. Sometimes called a 'talent manager'. Generally requires a human resources (HR) background and a bachelor degree, or extensive rail knowledge and experience, and an ability to work with senior executives and line managers.

Supervisor

Leads and manages a team including organising rosters, holding meetings, and some human resources (HR) related tasks such as work performance appraisals and overseeing leave applications. Also mentors and coaches others and may do training and assessment activities. No specific qualifications required, but needs extensive experience in a rail specific area and the ability to motivate and lead others as well as good computer, literacy and numeracy skills.

Surveying Assistant

Helps surveyors determine the position for rail infrastructure and drainage systems. They clear vegetation, peg boundaries and record measurements. No formal qualifications are needed, but vocational qualifications in spatial information systems or surveying are well regarded. You need to be fit and healthy, safety conscious and be comfortable working indoors and outdoors.

Surveyor

Provides and manages the spatial information required for the design and maintenance of the rail infrastructure. You need good computer, literacy and numeracy skills as well as be fit and enjoy working both outdoors and indoors, for example at a computer. Surveyors may have studied surveying at university, geomatics or a combination bachelor degree of civil engineering and surveying. You may need to be a member of a professional organisation.

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Systems Administrator

Maintains computer systems of a company. Installs, maintains and upgrades servers and ensures servers are backed up and secure from unauthorized access. May perform light programming (usually scripting, which involves writing programs to automate tasks). A degree in computer science or management information systems (MIS) is desirable but many are self-taught. Knowledge of business functions is valued and to progress to more senior roles, some knowledge of project management is required.

Systems Control Engineer

Works on design and maintenance of complex systems. Requires a degree in electrical engineering and specialist technical knowledge of electrical distribution networks, substations, power systems and SCADA technology.

Systems Engineer

Provides technical support and maintenance. Also resolves problems on network management infrastructure. Requires certificates such as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) Certificate. A qualification to degree-level is desirable, as well as network experience.