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Signalling Technician Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Signalling Technician. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Signalling Technician
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Signalling Technician Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Signalling technicians install, service and repair the signalling and control systems needed to run a railway network. If a fault occurs on one of the systems used for controlling the movement of the trains, technicians travel to the area to trace the reason for the fault.

Repair and maintenance work is carried out with the use of hand and machine tools and reference to technical drawings and manuals. Faulty parts may be replaced, and taken back to the workshop for repair.

Signalling and control systems use electrical, electronic and fibre-optic cables and operate mechanical, electrical, electronic and computerised devices and displays, therefore technicians require a high level of expertise.

Hours and Environment:

Most signalling technicians work a 37 hour week. Shift work is likely to ensure necessary repairs are completed without too much interruption to services. You may be expected to work overtime. Travel is likely, as the work is usually in a different place each day. This could involve some overnight stays.

The majority of work takes place outdoors on the track in all weathers. It may be necessary to work at heights and some of the work can be quite physical. Protective clothing should always be worn. Working alongside the track means adherence to safety precautions at all times.

Skills and Interests:

To be a signalling technician, you should:

  • have manual dexterity and an aptitude for practical work
  • have an ability for mental arithmetic
  • have good eyesight and normal colour vision
  • be logical for detecting system faults
  • be physically fit and have stamina
  • be able to work with engineering drawings
  • have computer skills
  • be interested in science and technology
  • have strong written and verbal communication skills
  • have good organisational skills
  • be a team player as well as working from initiative.


Experience working as a qualified electronics or telecommunications technician in another industry is desirable.

Qualifications in electronic engineering give the necessary theoretical knowledge. This should lead to a vocational award in electronic engineering. Another option would be taking a course leading to a BTEC HNC/HND.

An increasing number of employers are recruiting school or college leavers as technician apprentices. However, there is no upper age limit for candidates with the right skills. All applicants need to pass a medical examination.


Apprentices work alongside experienced technicians to learn different aspects of the job. NVQ/SVQ levels 2 and 3 are available in Rail Transport Engineering: Maintenance (Signalling), and Rail Transport Engineering: Renewals and Installation (Signalling).

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Modernisation and improvement of safety standards means more recruitment is expected. This may include a growing number of apprenticeship places for school and college leavers.

Promotion is usually from junior to senior techncian, team leader and manager. Senior technicians test and commission new signals installations and design new installations.

It could be possible to move to jobs with other railway companies in Britain or in Europe. Some people move into telecommunications.

Annual Income:

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

New entrants start at around about £12,000 depending on experience in other industries.
Experienced technicians earn between £15,000 and £20,000 depending on the company.
Senior technicians earn between £18,000 and £25,000.

Free or reduced price travel is an additional benefit.

Further information:

Centre for Rail Skills *
PO Box 39685
W2 1XR
Tel: 0845 345 2700

Network Rail
40 Melton Street
Tel: 020 7557 8000

Northern Ireland Railways
Human Resources Department
Central Station
East Bridge Street
Tel: 028 9089 9400

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Signalling Technician Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Signalling Technician job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Signalling Technician Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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