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
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.
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
- equivalent entry requirements
- guide to apprenticeships
- Transport for London apprenticeships
- Network Rail apprenticeships
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.
Professional and industry bodies
You can apply to join the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, which offers professional development training to its members.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- 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
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
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.