Did you know?

Many rail organisations have indigenous scholarships to encourage young people into rail careers. These include cadetships, school-based traineeships and apprenticeships. Check out the careers page of organisations in your area.

Occupation description

Generally, cable jointing is an electrical trade. As an apprentice, you will be involved in the construction and repair of joints in insulated power supply and control cables installed in underground pipes, trenches, and overhead supply systems. Once you are qualified, you may be responsible for installation and maintenance of underground and high voltage overhead electrical cable supplies, substation builds and the installation of major pieces of equipment and infrastructure. In some organisations, there may not be a separate trade for cable jointers and these tasks are done by a telecommunications technician or electrician.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

You will need to enjoy practical work, have normal eyesight, colour vision and physical fitness, good hand-eye coordination, be able to work at heights, and good communication skills. You must have a strong regard for safety.

Working conditions

You will be paid while you complete your apprenticeship studies. You may travel and work in metropolitan and regional locations to develop your skills. You may also work with private contractors. This is a physically demanding job and you will be mainly working outdoors – sometimes in cramped and confined conditions or at heights. You may have to do shift work and work weekends. You must have a strong regard for safety.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

  • New Zealand: electrical trade qualification and post-study trade certificate. Entry requirements vary, but employers usually require NTEA1 for entrance into a trade course. You will be expected to up-skill as technology changes through in-house or external training and certifications.
  • Australia: electrical trade qualification such as Certificate III in Electricity Supply Industry (Cable Jointing) and post study trade certificate. Entry requirements vary, but employers usually require Year 10. After your apprenticeship, you need to register with the Australian Communications and Media Authority to perform cabling. You will be expected to up-skill as technology changes through in-house or external training and certifications.

In Australia, there are a wide range of related vocational qualifications, at different levels, in areas including power systems, network infrastructure, substations, electricity supply, and operations.  For more information on qualifications, go to the training.gov.au website.

The value of a career in the rail industry

For even more details on what you might earn, the diversity of companies you could work for and the career opportunities available, visit the following careers and training websites. Careers in Rail by the Australasian Railway Association; About the Rail Industry by Rail Skills Australasia and Rail Training by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC).

For more information

Career paths

Typically, you will progress from an entry level position such as an apprentice, through to more senior roles in your area of specialisation such as team leader or a specialist. Once in the rail industry, to progress your career, you will need to complete additional studies or authorisations which will depend on operational and legislative requirements. In Australia, you may benefit from becoming a member of the Energy Networks Association for help with employment prospects, networking, contact with industry and professional development.

This information is generic. Job titles and the experience and qualifications needed to move into other jobs may vary depending on the structure and needs of your organisation and government rules and regulations.  

For more information on related qualifications in Australia

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for a cable jointer