Did you know?

Many rail organisations have indigenous scholarships to encourage young people into rail careers. These include cadetships, school-based traineeships and apprenticeships. Check out the careers page of organisations in your area.

Occupation description

Vehicle body builders are part of the automotive trades and work with metals, fibreglass, fabrics and woodwork to maintain rail rolling stock. They work with other trades and develop a broad understanding of their work. Work may involve:

  • complying with drawings of engineers and instructions to build framework
  • building rolling stock framework segments in metal, wood and fibreglass
  • installing axles, suspensions and brakes to rolling stock
  • designing and conducting rolling stock framework alterations in consultation with engineers
  • modifying assembly line rolling stock to comply with special requirements

Knowledge, skills and attributes

You will excel if you have interest in manual and practical work as well as design and fabrication. You should have technical skills, attention to detail and good hand-eye coordination. You must have a strong regard for safety.

Working conditions

You will be paid while you complete your apprenticeship studies. You may travel and work in metropolitan and regional locations to develop your skills. You may also work with private contractors.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

  • New Zealand: Trade qualification such as sheet metal or light fabrication and post study trade certificate. Entry requirements vary but employers usually require NTEA1 for entrance into a trade course with good results in maths and English. You will up-skill as technology changes through training and certifications.
  • Australia: Certificate III in Vehicle Body Builder. Entry requirements may vary but employers usually require Year 10 Certificate. You will also need to obtain your trade certificate.

Additional tickets, certification, registration or licences may be required to work in the rail corridor.

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. Your career may depend on what stage you are at in life and your personal circumstances. Typically, you will progress from an entry level position such as an apprentice, through to more senior roles such as a supervisor or technical specialist.

Once in the rail industry, you will need to complete additional studies or authorisations to progress in a career.

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.

Related Jobs

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

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for vehicle body builder