Career Profile: Platform Attendant
Steer your career towards the rail industry with one of these rewarding possibilities.
What is a platform attendant?
Railway platform attendants work in train stations and on station platforms. The role involves interacting with customers to ensure customers are safe and happy on their journeys. They will monitor and assist customers in the use of fare gates, the ticketing system and associated ticketing equipment, provide service at stops and on-board trains.
They provide advice and assistance to customers using station facilities and services in a friendly and professional manner. They also assist with crowd management and efficient movement of trams and trains.
What might a platform attendant do?
- Check tickets
- Answer questions from customers
- Help customers with large luggage, prams
- Assist people with needs, such as wheelchair users
- Ensure people are in the right place to catch their train
- Keep a careful lookout for any problems
- Do their best to see that people have a safe, pleasant and trouble-free journey
- Maintaining the station to be clean and tidy
- Making customer announcements about arrivals, delays, platform changes
Who might it suit
Platform attendants spend most of their time on a station platform. However, there are times that platform attendants will also assist and may work in a station office. In small stations this could mean doubling up as the ticket officer and at larger stations they may have to assist with ticket offices, information desks, customer service enquires and sales.
The role involves long periods of standing and walking. If the work is in the station office or at the information desk, then there can be periods of sitting down and using computers. Platform attendants wear a uniform so that customers can recognise them easily.
- Excellent communication skills – be able to give information in a way that is easily understood
- Good customer service skills, polite and friendly
- Good numeracy skills
- Confident to deal with all sorts of enquiries
- Have a good memory, in order to recall train times and cost of tickets
- Able to remain calm in emergency situations and take responsibility for customer safety
- Work well in a team or on your own
- Comfortable reading and using timetables and schedules
- Able to cope with boredom at quiet times and the bustle of peak times
Where and when is the work?
Platform attendants usually work standard full-time hours, although there are opportunities for overtime. Most stations remain open for as long as trains are operating in the area, which means that platform attendants usually need to work shifts that cover early mornings, days, evenings, nights, weekends and public holidays.
Depending on the size of the station, the platforms may be out in the open, which can sometimes mean getting cold, wet or hot. Platforms at large stations are often covered but not necessarily heated.
What is the pay?
In 2020, the platform attendant average salary is $60,000.
Career path opportunities
There are many career pathways and long-term prospects for railway platform attendants in rail customer service roles. There may also be opportunities to move into work in operational roles such as train driver or conductor.