There are a number of possibilities for developing a career in training and assessment in the rail industry. In many organisations, training may only be part of your job, but in some large organisations, especially those that have a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), training and assessing may be your fulltime role. People working in training and assessment careers also develop training materials – this role is sometimes called an instructional designer. Typically, they train/assess in their area of expertise – for example, train driving, safety, or induction training.
Knowledge, skills and attributes
The ability to think logically and train/assess to industry standards is important in the rail industry where safety is critical. Initiative, energy, ability to work without direct supervision and good time management skills are required. You must have strong technical knowledge and experience in your area of expertise. You need to be patient and willing to adjust your training to suit different learning styles and abilities. You need good writing and presentation skills and the ability to manage student records confidentially.
Working conditions may vary depending on whether this is part of your job or not. If you work fulltime as a trainer or assessor, you will generally work standard hours Monday to Friday and locations can range from being based in a regional depot or working from city headquarters. You may travel to other locations depending on the size of your organisation. If you work in freight, you may find yourself visiting or working in remote regions. Some people elect to only assess, or only train, depending on their skills and interests.
Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development
Trainers and assessors are generally recruited from within rail organisations however those with specialist skills and knowledge may be recruited from outside the organisation. You will need to remain current in your area of expertise. For example, if you are training/assessing train drivers you need to work enough to retain your current competencies as a train driver. Registration or licensing may be required. You will also need to upgrade your training and assessment skills.
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
Training Australia is the official national register of information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and registered training organisations (RTOs) and has been developed for experienced training sector users.
Once in the rail industry, to progress your career you will need to complete additional studies or authorisations which will depend on organisational and state requirements. There is not a linear career path for most trainers and assessors as training and assessing is only part of their role. However, you may decide to study further and gain a university degree in an education field, such as adult education, educational technology, literacy and numeracy or instructional design and become a training and development professional. This would open up opportunities to senior training roles and even management.
This information is generic. Job titles and the experience and qualifications needed to move into other jobs may vary slightly from state to state depending on the structure and needs of your organisation, and government rules and regulations.