What are the most in-demand roles in rail?


What are the most in-demand roles in rail?

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Big investment in new projects – like HS2, the TransPennine Route Upgrade, Northern Powerhouse Rail and East West Rail – the transition to net zero, technological advances and an ageing population leading to high retirement levels means rail needs thousands more professionals in the coming years.

NSAR’s Rail Workforce Survey 2023 shows that the industry will need more than 4,000 Engineers, more than 1,400 Technicians and more than 700 Project Managers by 2030. Thousands of people are also expected to retire from Train Driving and Customer Service roles, who will need to be replaced. Digital and green skills will be in high demand as well.

Most in-demand careers in rail:
  • Engineer: Civil, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical, Robotics Engineer and more – take your pick!
  • Engineering Technician: Help engineers test, install and maintain trains, tracks and other rail infrastructure.
  • Train Driver: The importance of Train Drivers is not to be underestimated – without them, neither passengers nor freight would get to their destinations.
  • Project Manager: Plan and oversee the delivery of rail projects, from station upgrades to major new lines.
  • Customer Service: Customer service assistants and supervisors help customers before, during and after their journeys, as well as undertaking station checks and responding to emergencies.
  • Signaller: Signalling is basically a sophisticated traffic light system for the railway. Signallers keep track of a huge number of trains moving across the network and tell train drivers when it is safe to go.
  • Machine Operator: An Operator drives big machinery on site or in a train yard – think cranes and excavators.