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Occupation description

A learning and development officer will have a diverse and interesting career in the rail industry. They will train or support a wide range of rail employees including professionals, engineers, tradespeople and those working in operations and infrastructure. Their role may include:

  • Delivering training in their specialist area such as communication skills or arrange for a third party trainer to do so
  • Working closely with rail specific trainers and assessors to develop rail specific training
  • Co-presenting or reviewing training and assessment materials
  • Making suggestions as to how technology could be used to assist in training. This will be especially important for rail employees who may have to study distance due to their work schedules or locations
  • Writing training submissions and proposals for the organisation or business unit
  • Preparing reports on student enrolments if the organisation is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
  • Managing student records and databases
  • Assisting business unit managers to develop training plans for staff

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Learning and development officers need strong interpersonal skills to work with people at all levels including professionals, engineers, tradespeople, train drivers, station staff and infrastructure workers;  excellent written and spoken communication skills; initiative and the ability to offer new ideas; time management, organisational and planning skills; and personal commitment to improving their own knowledge and skills. Knowledge of teaching and learning technology would help in this career.

Working conditions

You will normally work nine to five Monday to Friday. Work is generally office-based with the exception of training delivery, which can take place on or off the premises including regional depots and train stations. If you work for a freight company, you may find yourself in remote mining areas. You need to have a strong regard for safety.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

A learning and development officer requires a bachelor degree in training and development, adult education, teaching or HR. In some instances, relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may also be required. Some rail organisations may have graduate programs in this area. You may have come into the organisation as a generalist HR practitioner after deciding you want to specialise in training and development. Learning and development officers will generally join a professional association in order to stay current with trends in L&D and to access professional development opportunities.

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

Your career may take many turns depending on what stage you are at in life and your personal circumstances. Once in the rail industry, to progress your career you will need to complete additional studies depending on organisational requirements.  Typically, you will start your career as a generalist HR practitioner or in an entry level learning and development role. Most learning and development roles will be based in the headquarters of organisations operating in capital cities so flexibility may be required for career progression. Depending on the size of the organisation you may progress to a senior L&D role or back into HR management.

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

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for a learning and development officer