Apprentice Railway Engineering Design Technician

What is an Apprentice Railway Engineering Design Technician?

DID YOU KNOW? Rail design technicians can be involved in a whole range of projects including track and bridge design, signalling, telecoms, electrification and plant.

If you’re looking for a route into a design engineering career and you’ve got the GCSEs (or their equivalents) to create a solid foundation for your skills and knowledge, this could be the perfect opportunity to lay down the tracks for a career that’s going places.

As an apprentice, your job will involve designing the railway infrastructure. Using CAD (computer-aided design) you’ll create and annotate technical drawings, putting technical knowledge gained through classroom-based learning and on-the-job training into practice. The technical drawings you work on can be used for a number of different railway assets including overhead lines, bridges and signalling systems.

You’ll also be involved in the analysis of data to do with the design of the railway, using software systems. You’ll gather and analyse data, then use it to annotate technical drawings and spot potential engineering issues.

Like the idea of being supported to grow and take on responsibility? You’ll also be involved in railway engineering project management. This could involve helping to manage engineering projects by setting deadlines for the design of projects and working to deadlines.

As an apprentice, you’ll get the chance to work on construction sites. You’ll check the progress and quality of construction, ensuring that the construction is to plan and fits the technical drawings that you helped to produce.

Becoming an Apprentice Railway Engineering Design Technician - what does it take?

You’ll have to be confident in maths and science subjects as these are incorporated in the work you’ll be carrying out. Maths and science are the foundations of any engineering career! It helps if you have an interest in the transport industry and how it works, too.

It can also help you to go far if you start learning before you apply for an apprenticeship. If you have access to a CAD programme, you can start to develop your skills early.

Picking up the basics of electrical and mechanical engineering will help you to understand how trains operate so that when you have to carry out maintenance, it won’t be totally new to you (although training will be provided).

Learning and development courses and training to build your career

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and gained industry recognised qualifications along the way with more experience gained in the railway engineering industry, you can progress onto becoming a licensed engineer - an exciting step in your career.

Here are a few job titles that apprentices have gone on to do:

  • Service engineers
  • Team technicians
  • Team leaders
  • Project engineers
  • Depot managers
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