Railway Track Workers lay and repair tracks for railways, tramways, quarries and mines, and install and repair signals and other equipment.

Specialisations: Track Inspector.

You can work as a Railway Track Worker without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in rail track surfacing or rail infrastructure might be helpful.

Tasks

  • spreading and tamping ballast to provide firm foundation for sleepers
  • cutting rails to length and grinding worn and rough rail ends
  • placing sleepers across roadbeds, and positioning and fastening rails on sleepers
  • drilling bolt holes, and bolting and welding rail sections
  • removing and replacing worn and damaged rails, sleepers and switches
  • cleaning and lubricating switches
  • examining track, lubricating wheel bearings on rolling stock and maintaining switch signal lamps
  • installing and repairing signals and other equipment
  • may assist with the righting of derailed rolling stock

All Railway Track Workers

  • $2,074 Weekly Pay
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 3,600 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 90% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 49 hours Average full-time
  • 44 years Average age
  • 4% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Railway Track Workers (in their main job) is about the same as 5 years ago and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 3,600 in 2018 to 4,000 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 4,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 800 a year).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Many Railway Track Workers work in Queensland and Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Construction; and Financial and Insurance Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $2,074 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (90%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 49 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 4% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20085200
20095600
20107100
20116600
20123600
20133600
20145500
20152400
20164500
20175400
20183600
20234000

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
EarningsRailway Track WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings20741460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Transport, Postal and Warehousing46.1
Construction24.4
Financial and Insurance Services6.2
Mining5.4
Other Industries17.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateRailway Track WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW34.231.6
VIC17.325.6
QLD27.920.0
SA4.07.0
WA15.510.8
TAS0.92.0
NT0.31.0
ACT0.01.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketRailway Track WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.8-5.05.0
20-245.2-9.39.3
25-3424.4-22.922.9
35-4421.5-22.022.0
45-5424.6-21.621.6
55-5913.8-9.09.0
60-647.5-6.06.0
65 and Over2.4-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationRailway Track WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate1.1-10.110.1
Bachelor degree2.4-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.2-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV33.6-21.121.1
Year 1217.0-18.118.1
Year 118.3-4.84.8
Year 10 and below32.5-12.512.5

You can work as a Railway Track Worker without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in rail track surfacing or rail infrastructure might be helpful.

Membership with The Rail Industry Worker (RIW) Program may be useful.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • dogger licence
  • construction induction card (white card)
  • high risk work licence
  • forklift licence
  • drug and alcohol test

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Railway Track Workers who are motivated and hardworking.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Building and construction

    64% Skill level

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  2. Mechanical

    62% Skill level

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. Engineering and technology

    53% Skill level

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  4. Transportation

    47% Skill level

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

  5. Mathematics

    47% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-4061.00 - Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    100% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  2. Outdoors, exposed to weather

    99% Important

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  3. Face-to-face discussions

    98% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  4. Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    96% Important

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  5. Contact with people

    91% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-4061.00 - Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators.

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