Signalling technician

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Signalling technicians maintain and repair rail telecommunications equipment and signalling systems.

Salary range: £14,000 to £40,000

How to become a signalling technician

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a rail engineering technician advanced apprenticeship or an advanced apprenticeship in rail infrastructure engineering: signalling.

You could also do a higher apprenticeship for high speed rail and infrastructure technicians.

Apprenticeships are offered by rail engineering companies, Transport for London and Network Rail.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You may be able to apply directly to rail engineering companies if you’ve got experience and qualifications in electrical or electronic engineering from another industry, or from the armed forces.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can apply to join the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, which offers professional development training to its members.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in the rail industry from Network Rail and Tomorrow’s Engineers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • installing new signalling systems
  • carrying out routine maintenance checks
  • measuring and recording equipment test readings
  • upgrading radio and electronic communications networks
  • finding and fixing equipment faults on-site
  • repairing more complex faults back in the workshop

Working environment

You could work on rail tracks, in a control room or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time, you’ll travel often and noisy.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move from junior to senior technician jobs and take on team leading responsibilities.

With more qualifications and experience you could become a signalling designer or incident investigator.

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