Did you know?

In 2013, people from non-English speaking backgrounds represent about one-tenth of engineers who work in the Australasian rail industry.

Occupation description

As a project manager in the rail industry, you will assist a senior project manager or engineering manager with the development and delivery of specific engineering projects. You will manage project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk, and procurement for each project. You will manage the delivery of engineering projects, taking into account the requirements of key internal and external stakeholders, sponsors and clients. You will also:

  • Manage construction or information and communication technologies (ICT) projects
  • Ensure activities comply with all relevant legislation
  • Identify and manage all risks relating to the project
  • Prepare project plans, specifying all project deliverables
  • Provide detailed progress reports to the respective stakeholders
  • Directly supervise project staff

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Project managers need a wide range of skills including analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to interpret schematic drawings and designs. You also need to be able to work in a team environment, supervise others, share knowledge and provide coaching and mentoring. You will need sound organisational and time management skills and effective oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.

Working conditions

Project managers work indoors, onsite in rail corridors and occasionally in regional and remote areas. They frequently work closely with other professionals including engineers to pool expertise on projects. You may also work on large infrastructure projects between the public and private sectors.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

To become a project manager, you need to have tertiary qualifications or equivalent experience in engineering, construction, information and communication technologies, business or project management. Many project managers in the rail industry come from an engineering background and this is reflected in the career path shown here. 

A project manager should be working towards a project management qualification such as RegPM, PRINZ2 and PMBOK.  Relevant Australian vocational competency-based project management qualifications include: the Certificate IV in Project Management, the Diploma of Project Management or the Advanced Diploma of Project Management.    

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

There are many options open to you, and your career may take different turns depending where you are at in your life and your personal circumstances.  With further project management experience, you can continue to progress along a career pathway that could see you commissioning or managing multiple project teams as a program manager or even an engineering manager. You will need to maintain your professional registration with bodies such as the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) or the Project Management Institute (PMI) New Zealand and Australia.

The information provided here 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.

Related Jobs

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

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for a project manager