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 rolling stock engineer in the rail industry, you will plan, design and oversee the development, assembly, installation, operation and maintenance of trains (rolling stock), equipment and mechanical services from concept to delivery.  You will use your expertise in the design, maintenance and acquisition of new and existing rolling stock. Key accountabilities include:

• Researching and investigating technical issues

• Supervising manufacturing processes such as rolling stock production plants

• Using computer-aided design (CAD) to assist in design and drawing

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A rolling stock engineer needs to enjoy designing mechanical and electrical parts which may include new trains. They need to enjoy identifying, analysing and solving problems, enjoy computing and technical design, be both practical and creative, able to work independently or as part of a team, and able to accept responsibility.

Working conditions

Rolling stock engineers work in different settings, ranging from offices to rail corridors and workshops. They may work with other professionals on temporary project teams.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

To become a rolling stock engineer, you need to have tertiary qualifications (bachelor degree or higher) in electrical, mechanical or mechatronic engineering. Engineers with qualifications from overseas must have their degrees assessed by Engineers Australia or the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ.

Over time, additional authorisations or licensing will be required to work in the rail industry. Higher qualifications are available and include the Graduate Certificate in Rolling Stock Engineering and Masters of Rolling Stock Engineering at Wollongong UniversityIn some mechanical engineering roles, it is possible to progress through technical or vocational training, however, areas such as design require a degree.

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

The rail industry offers a wide range of opportunities. There are many options open to you, and your career may take many turns depending on what stage you are at in life and your personal circumstances. You may also have opportunities to work with rail partners on large infrastructure projects. Once in the rail industry, to progress in a career, you will need to complete additional studies or authorisations which will depend on operational and state requirements. Due to the complexities of the rail environment, it takes time to become a specialist and it may be difficult to move laterally into other specialised areas.

Typically, an engineer will progress from an entry level position, such as a graduate or assistant engineer, through to more senior positions with specialist skills in one of the following areas: project management, operations, asset construction and maintenance, design, and standards development. Working as a rolling stock engineer offers a range of tasks that include: researching and investigating technical issues, designing and reviewing equipment, developing technical documentation, developing technical systems for measuring rolling stock performance and managing the supply, delivery and commission of works.

The information provided here 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 a rolling stock engineer


Typical career path for a rolling stock design engineer