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

Timetable officers prepare highly complex passenger and freight train timetables and other documentation (including diagrams) related to planned changes for passenger and freight trains. They help to prepare complicated operational plans to assist people, for example, those working on special events and regular train crews including drivers so they can organise their rosters.In some organisations, they may prepare duty sheets and work schedules for train drivers or coordinate rail replacement bus services.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Timetable officers are often faced with the challenges of working with complex timetabling and having to identify available passenger or freight trains and crew. They must be able to deal with complexity, work under pressure, and have strong administration, planning, analytical and conflict resolution skills. They also need strong computer skills, a positive customer focus and a strong regard for safety.

Previous experience in similar industries, such as mining or bus transport, would be helpful in this career.

Working conditions

Timetable officers work in offices. They may have to work shifts and weekend work.

Entry requirements and ongoing training and development

You can become a timetable officer without formal qualifications, but employers usually require completion of relevant secondary school qualifications. In Australia, some organisations may offer a traineeship in Transport and Distribution (Train Planning). Much of what you need to know will be learnt on the job as technology and timetabling software changes. This is often a career move for people already working in rail organisations.

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, a timetable officer would move into a supervisory role. With further experience and training, they may move into a more strategic role, such as network planning, where they will timetable the integration of different modes of transport (e.g. trains and buses).

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 a timetable officer