Train and Tram Drivers drive trains and trams to transport passengers and freight on rail networks.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • stopping at stations and set locations to pick up and set down passengers and freight
  • opening and closing doors before and after passengers board or alight
  • observing signals, track conditions, nearby traffic and prescribed speeds to ensure safety
  • monitoring indicator gauges, changing controls and power supply poles and reporting operating irregularities
  • checking time and adherence to timetables
  • may advise passengers on destinations

Job Titles

  • Train Driver
  • Tram Driver
  • Train Driver (also called Locomotive Driver)

    Drives a train to transport passengers and freight on railways. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Electric Train Driver, Fireperson (Railway), Locomotive Observer, Rail Car Driver, Steam Train Driver

  • Tram Driver

    Drives a tram to transport passengers on urban light rail networks. Registration or licensing is required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,800 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    14300
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    88.3%
  • Female Share

    11.7%
  • Full-Time Share

    90.7%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 14,300 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Train and Tram Drivers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Mining; and Manufacturing.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,800 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 49 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20059500
20068000
200711400
200812600
200910500
201012100
201111400
201211800
201315800
201410400
201514300
202015800

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsTrain and Tram DriversAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings18001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryTrain and Tram DriversAll Jobs Average
Full-time90.768.4
Part-time9.331.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.540

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Transport, Postal and Warehousing83.2
Mining7.5
Manufacturing4.4
Arts and Recreation Services1.1
Other Industries3.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateTrain and Tram DriversAll Jobs Average
NSW32.331.8
VIC32.125.5
QLD17.619.8
SA3.76.8
WA13.111.2
TAS0.22
NT0.11.1
ACT11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketTrain and Tram DriversAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-241.7-9.99.9
25-3421-23.423.4
35-4422-21.721.7
45-5419.9-21.121.1
55-5915.7-8.78.7
60-6416.1-5.95.9
65 and Over3.4-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryTrain and Tram DriversCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males88.3Males53.6
Females11.7Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary. Registration or licensing is required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Train and Tram Drivers who can interact with customers, provide good customer service and are well presented.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Transportation

    89% Important

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  2. Public Safety and Security

    72% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  3. English Language

    67% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Education and Training

    66% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    60% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

Occupational Information Network Locomotive Engineers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    93% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    90% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    90% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  4. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

    88% Important

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  5. Getting Information

    86% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

Occupational Information Network Locomotive Engineers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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