Career Profile: Track Worker
Steer your career towards the rail industry with one of these rewarding possibilities.
What is a track worker?
Track workers build, inspect, maintain and repair tracks for heavy and light railways. They may also lay and repair tracks at tramways, quarries and mines and install and repair signals and other equipment. Track work requires the services of labourers to carry out a variety of track maintenance tasks, such as labouring, welding, oxy cutting, asphalting, concreting and operating mechanical equipment including jackhammers, vibrating plates and air compressors, or even large earthmoving and specialist mechanical equipment such as excavators and tamper machines.
What might a track worker do?
- Inspect and monitor railway tracks
- Check, assess and maintain track-laying equipment
- Spread and tamp ballast to provide firm foundation for sleepers
- Grind, repair and maintain worn and rough rail ends
- Lay and fix foundations
- Cut rails to correct length
- Install, maintain and repair track, sleepers and ballast
- Assist with the righting of derailed rolling stock
- Drill bolt holes, and bolt and weld rail sections
- Remove and replace worn damaged track, sleepers and switches
- Examine track and lubricating wheel bearings on rolling stock
- Install and repair signals and maintain overhead lines
- Welding and general site maintenance
Who might it suit
Track workers spend most of their time outdoors and the work can be physically demanding. These job roles best suit people who enjoy working outdoors across a range of general labouring and maintenance duties. You will need to be happy to work outdoors in rain, hail or shine and won’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and contribute to a team.
- Good written and oral communication skills
- Like to work in a team environment
- Embrace safety as a core value
- Physically fit, mechanically minded
- Enjoys hands-on, outdoor work
Where and when is the work?
Track workers work in both metropolitan and regional areas and are employed by both passenger and freight rail services. Shifts are generally on a rotating roster, including evenings, weekends and public holidays. Track workers must be willing to work on-call, be available for overtime and at times be prepared to travel to sites across the network or interstate.
What is the pay?
In 2020, the average track worker salary range is $52,000 to $62,000 and can increase with experience.
Career path opportunities
There are three main career pathways available for rail infrastructure employees.
1. Rail Infrastructure – Track Work: Track Worker, Track Installer, Track Maintainer
2. Rail Infrastructure – Structures: Structures Maintainer
3. Rail Infrastructure – Track Surfacing: Plant Operator, Mobile Plant Operator, Way Gang Driver