Did you know?

Rail moves one billion tonnes of freight each year, rail and freight will double between 2013 and 2020, and triple by 2050. That’s a lot of drivers, shunters and controllers that will need to be employed to keep the trains moving!

Occupation description

Customer service is the ‘face’ of most rail organisations on stations or on specific platforms in metropolitan areas. Although duties vary from organisation to organisation, typical duties of customer service attendants include: providing customers timetable and platform information, selling tickets, attending ticket barriers, inspecting the station environment and reporting anomalies such as graffiti on station walls. They also document and respond to complaints and ‘lost and found’.

In some organisations, customer service attendants may record train movements and provide information on delays, conduct station tours, participate in crowd management or even issue infringements.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Customer service attendants must have strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to quickly identify passenger requirements. Being able to communicate in languages other than English is helpful, especially in the cities.  A good knowledge of the network including routes, connections (e.g. bus and ferries) and ticket systems is required. You must have a positive customer focus and a strong regard for safety.

Working conditions

Customer service attendants work in ticket offices and station platforms. They are often on their feet for long periods of time. They may be required to do shift work or work on weekends and public holidays.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

There are no specific requirements. However, the minimum would be the completion of relevant secondary school qualifications. In Australia, there are vocational qualifications in station operations and passenger services. Some organisations may offer a traineeship in customer service.

As you progress, you will gain more extensive knowledge of the network and bookings software and, on occasions, crowd management. Having a positive customer service attitude would be well regarded. Once you are employed, you will receive in-house training.

The websites below will provide you with more information.

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

With experience and sometimes further study, it is possible to advance to higher positions, such as supervisor or a customer service manager. A move into sales or training would also be possible. In Australia, there are related vocational qualifications in customer service, sales and business administration that may help you in your career

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. 

Related Jobs

The jobs below may require additional qualifications as well as experience.

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for customer service attendant