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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.

Tax Specialist

A specialist role, usually only employed in large rail organisations to consider all aspects of tax related to rail. Requires accounting qualifications and taxation experience and registration.

Technical Officer

Works on jobs between a trade and an engineering level and under the direction of a professional engineer. A trade certificate in a specific discipline is required, especially in maintenance, and other experience may also be required. You will need strong literacy and numeracy skills, and an inquiring mind to become a technical officer.

Technical Surveyor/Surveying Technician

Collects and analyses data and develops plans for land surveyors, who then use this information for surveying projects. Sometimes a technical surveyor or surveying technician is also referred to as a 'draftsperson'. Requires a vocational diploma in surveying.

Telecommunications and Control Systems Workers

Utilise state-of-the-art technology to design, develop, implement and repair radio, complex telecommunications and train control systems. Generally, the rail industry offers apprenticeships for the following specialisations: telecommunications, control systems, and condition monitoring. Entry requirements vary between NZ and Australia, but you will need good English and numeracy skills, be practical, interested in technical activities, have good eye-hand coordination, be able to diagnose and an inquisitive mind. You may need additional tickets, certification, registration or licenses to work in the rail corridor.

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Telecommunications Network Engineer

Plans, designs and monitors complex telecommunications networks and broadcasting equipment. Requires a Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunication and Network Engineering. To become a telecommunications network engineer, you need excellent literacy and numeracy skills, excellent verbal communication, an ability to problem-solve (eg. technical issues) and an interest in customer service.

Telecommunications Network Planner

Plans the development and maintenance of customer access telecommunications networks, including integration with other hardware, desktops, databases and operating systems. Requires a degree in telecommunications and work experience to gain employment as a telecommunications network planner in the rail industry.

Telecommunications Technologist

Carries out design and support functions in telecommunications engineering, including: monitoring networks, repairing faults, and selecting and installing equipment. Requires a degree in engineering.

Timetable Officer

Prepares passenger and freight train timetables and other documentation related to planned changes for passenger and freight trains. They may assist with timetabling staff rosters for special events and coordinate rail replacement bus services. Requires no formal qualification but you need to work well under pressure, have good literacy, communication and administration skills and be able to deal with complexity. In Australia, some organisations offer a traineeship: Transport and Distribution (Train Planning).

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Track Engineer (Professional)

Improves track designs by following briefs from engineers, surveyors and project teams. They develop designs, create detailed drawings using CAD and use initiative to enhance the design of rail tracks. In NZ there are two types of track engineers - those who have a professional engineer background and those who have come from a non-trade background (also called field engineers).

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Traction Engineer

Specialises in traction (locomotive) and rolling stock including both powered and unpowered vehicles. Requires an electrical engineering degree.

Trade Union Official

Works to maintain and improve the wages, conditions and employment opportunities of workers in their industry. Generally, employed by a trade union. Officials with training (eg in law, journalism, economics, accountancy and welfare etc) may be appointed to specialist positions. Necessary skills include: ability to negotiate and communicate with employers and workers, ability to stay calm in difficult situations and handle controversial and emotional issues objectively and analytically.

Train Controller

Moves trains using computerised and mechanical control systems. Skills in incident management, signals, communication systems and station operations plus Cert IV in Transport and Logistics – Rail Operations, or Cert IV in Rail Network Control desirable.

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Train Driver (Passenger and Freight)

In charge of, and responsible for, driving the locomotives, as well as the mechanical operation of the train, train speed and all train handling. Teamwork is an important part of being a train driver. You need to be safety conscious and work well under pressure as well as have superior concentration, good eyesight, initiative, anticipate situations and enjoy solving mechanical problems. Requires a formal certificate qualification and may include a traineeship.

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Train Monitoring Officer

Monitors train on-time performance using computerised information systems and prepares incident reports on train delays. No specific qualifications required but good administration, attention to detail, report writing and an awareness of train timetabling desirable.

Train Planner

Prepares technical electronic daily working timetables for trains. No specific qualifications required, but the Certificate III in Transport and Logistics – Train Planning, plus administration experience, decision-making skills and rail experience, are desirable.

Trainer and Assessor

Plans, designs and delivers workplace training and conducts assessments. To be a trainer and/or assessor, you need significant skills and knowledge in the area you train in and assess. Generally, requires a formal qualification such as a certificate 4 in training and assessing and extensive rail experience.

Training Administrator

Provides high level administration support to the L&D (learning and development) team. May include training support if the training administrator has relevant training qualifications and experience. Needs strong administration skills, excellent organisational and planning skills. Computer and database skills are also desired.

Training and Assessment Careers

There are a number careers involving training and assessment in the rail industry. These include hands-on trainers and assessors, instructional designers, skills recognition officers and WHS officers. Most employers expect trainers and assessors to have a formal qualification in training and assessment and may complete in-house training and assessment courses that are recognised externally. This could be specific units (in training and assessment) from a certificate 4 level. Trainers and assessors train and assess in their areas of expertise and may also coach and mentor colleagues. To work in this field, you must have excellent literacy skills, be a good communicator, organised, enjoy paperwork, be fair and flexible and have a genuine interest in teaching and helping others.

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Training and Development Officer

Is concerned with training, education and development activities aimed at improving the performance of individuals and groups in an organisation. They may work closely with their human resources department. Depending on the role, you may be required to hold a qualification (eg. in Australia, this may be a certificate IV qualification), and relevant work experience such as in training and administration.

Training Assistant

Provides basic administration support to the L&D (learning and development) team such as filing records, compiling training materials and assisting workplace trainers and assessors, supervisors and other staff. The position may include training support, if you have relevant qualifications and experience. You will need sound literacy and communication skills, enjoy administration and writing, be organised and a genuine interest in assisting and training others.

Training Officer

Works generally in a specific business unit or in a centralised function within human resources (HR) or training and development. Oversees the training requirements of staff and may train and assess. Usually requires a bachelor degree in adult education or training and development. If you have come from a trade or other rail area, employers expect a minimum of a Cert IV in Training and Assessment. However, to progress you would usually need a bachelor degree. May also require specific rail experience and/or rail qualifications.

Tram Driver

Drives trams to transport passengers on urban tramway systems. Contact with the public is an important part of the work. Employers usually require that a tram driver has at least Year 10 education, and they will need a special licence after training.

Transit Officer/Transport Officer

Patrols trains, platforms and interchanges. Strong customer service focus includes identifying and resolving non-compliance of minor offences (eg. smoking, feet on seats). Also assists with passenger enquiries, and checks tickets and ticket checking equipment. No formal qualification is required but completion of a relevant secondary school qualification is necessary. Once employed, intensive in-house training is provided and possibly a related traineeship. Customer service experience and a first aid certificate are hightly regarded.

Transport Officer

Patrols trains, platforms and interchanges. Strong customer service focus includes identifying and resolving non-compliance of minor offences (eg. smoking, feet on seats). Also assists with passenger enquiries, and checks tickets and ticket checking equipment. No formal qualification is required but completion of a relevant secondary school qualification is necessary. Once employed, intensive in-house training is provided and possibly a related traineeship. Customer service experience and a first aid certificate are hightly regarded.

Travel Consultant

Organises travel bookings for customers and provides information, for example, on hotel accommodation, car hire, air travel, tourism attractions and insurance. No specific qualifications are required, but a background in sales, tourism or travel is desirable.

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