Railway Signal Operators control the movement of trains, and assemble and disassemble trains within a marshalling yard.

Also known as: Railway Switching and Signalling Operator.

Specialisations: Railway Shunter, Railway Yard Assistant.

You can work as a Railway Signal Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in electrical - rail signalling might be helpful.

Tasks

  • Directs trains within marshalling yards.
  • Breaks apart and join train wagons and carriages.
  • Places wagons, carriages and engines into sidings.
  • Directs outgoing trains to the main line.
  • May conduct safety checks.

All Other Stationary Plant Operators

  • $1,886 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Railway Signal Operators

  • 1,100 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 89% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 46 hours Average full-time
  • 45 years Average age
  • 10% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Railway Signal Operators (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 1,300 in 2011 to 1,100 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Many Railway Signal Operators work in Queensland.
  • Industries: Most work in Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Financial and Insurance Services; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (89%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 45 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (52%).
  • Gender: 10% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

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 Warehousing63.4
Financial and Insurance Services10.1
Public Administration and Safety7.5
Manufacturing6.9
Other Industries12.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on 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 Signal OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW33.431.6
VIC22.325.6
QLD27.320.0
SA4.57.0
WA10.210.8
TAS1.42.0
NT0.61.0
ACT0.31.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketRailway Signal OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.3-5.05.0
20-246.5-9.39.3
25-3418.7-22.922.9
35-4422.2-22.022.0
45-5427.4-21.621.6
55-5913.9-9.09.0
60-648.2-6.06.0
65 and Over2.8-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, 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 Signal OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.3-10.110.1
Bachelor degree3.7-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.5-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV31.3-21.121.1
Year 1221.6-18.118.1
Year 118.9-4.84.8
Year 10 and below28.8-12.512.5

You can work as a Railway Signal Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in electrical - rail signalling might be helpful.

Membership with the Rail Industry Worker may be useful.

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.

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 Stationary Plant Operators who communicate well with others, are polite, courteous and reliable.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Transportation

    61% Skill level

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

  2. Public Safety and Security

    52% Skill level

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

  3. Mechanical

    50% Skill level

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

  4. Customer and Personal Service

    47% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  5. Education and Training

    47% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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, 53-4021.00 - Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch 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. Outdoors, Exposed to Weather

    100% Important

    How often do you work outdoors, exposed to the weather?

  2. Sounds, Loud or Uncomfortable

    98% Important

    How often are you there sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?

  3. Exposed to Contaminants

    97% Important

    How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

  4. Exposed to Hazardous Equipment

    96% Important

    How often do you work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic?

  5. Consequence of Error

    94% Important

    How serious would it be if you made a mistake?

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, 53-4021.00 - Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators.

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