Career Profile: Railway Signalling Engineer

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Steer your career towards the rail industry with one of these rewarding possibilities.

To become a signalling engineer you will need a tertiary qualification in electrical, electronic, computer systems, telecommunications, or mechatronics.

A degree in software engineering, information technology or computer science will allow you to work on operational systems.

There are no specific railway signalling subjects or courses available at the undergraduate level in Australia.

What is signalling engineering?

In a rail environment, signalling engineering enables operators to regulate the movement of trains on the network with minimum conflict or delay.

What might a signalling engineer do?

A signalling engineer will choose to specialise in design, construction, maintenance or project management.

Who might it suit?

Signalling attracts engineers who enjoy facing new challenges and learning new technology, to solve technical problems with logical reasoning.

Signalling engineers enjoy developing creative solutions within the boundaries of fundamental signalling principles, standards and safety requirements.

Where and when is the work?

A signalling career offers opportunities indoors and out, ranging from urban offices and workshops to rail corridors in remote areas.

Shifts are generally on a rotating roster – evenings, weekends and public holidays.

What is the pay?

In 2019, the average signalling engineer salary in Australia is $128,000 per year. Entry level positions start at $90,000 while most experienced workers make up to $180,000.


Like a winding rail track, your career path may lead you to different places depending on where you are in life and where you want to be.

Typically, an engineer will progress from an entry level position – as a graduate or assistant engineer – through to more senior positions with specialist skills in: project management, operations, asset construction and maintenance, design, and development of standards.

Once in the rail industry, to progress in your career, you will need to complete additional studies or authorisations based on operational and state requirements.

Eventually, you may become a chief engineer. You may also develop specific expertise in estimation or research and development.

You may have opportunities to work with rail partners on large infrastructure projects, like the Level Crossing Removal Project.

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