Apprentice Signalling Design Engineer at MGB Engineering Ltd

Is a career in signalling design right for me?

Are you able to solve problems in a logical way? Got a keen eye for detail? See yourself as being resilient? Want a career that will challenge you? Do you want to be involved in big projects that have an effect on people’s daily lives?

If that sounds like you, then a career in signalling design could be the answer.

Perks and Challenges of being a signalling design engineer apprentice


  • This is a varied role where you’ll get the opportunity to do lots of different things and work in a variety of locations
  • The designer’s licence you can gain during this apprenticeship is recognised internationally. An IRSE licence means you could work nearly anywhere in the world!


  • Sometimes designing something may not go as you first thought. By approaching the challenge with confidence and determination you’ll be able to see where it’s going wrong and improve it.

Useful skills

The following skills are very useful:

  • Problem solving skills – being able to identify an issue with the design and correct it.
  • Time management skills – you’ll need these so that you can plan a project around a set time frame.
  • Communication skills – being able to communicate with colleagues and senior members of staff who will be aiding you in your work.
  • Knowledge of the railway and signalling – you can really wow employers during your interview by having read up on the railway company and how signalling is used and needed.

People who work in this role say that the following skills and qualities are useful:

  • Problem solving – when designing you need to work on a lot of different aspects of the design including working out the different type of circuits and components you may need to create a successful design.
  • Resilience – sometimes your design may not be approved or you may miss something. Having the resilience to correct the issue and continue will really help you develop in this role.
  • Listening – you’ll be learning on the job so there will be lots to take in. Listening carefully to what you are being taught will improve your work and understanding.

What qualifications do you need to be an apprentice signalling design engineer?

In order to become an apprentice signalling design engineer you will need four GCSEs (or their equivalent). You’ll also need good passing grades in English, maths and science.

Studying engineering and design technology at school will prove to employers that you have an interest in engineering and working in the rail industry.

DID YOU KNOW? There are lots of graduate opportunities in signalling design available, too. An engineering degree will give you a good breadth of knowledge to work in the rail industry as a signalling design graduate.

Once you’ve been accepted onto an apprenticeship, you’ll gain industry-recognised qualifications like:

  • NVQs in rail engineering
  • BTEC Level 3 in electrical engineering leading onto a Higher National Certificate (HNC) course
  • Personal track safety (PTS) qualification
  • Basic signalling technology (BST) course leading to an intermediate signalling technology qualification

What is the workplace of an apprentice signalling design engineer like?

You’ll mainly be office based. However, sometimes you may be required to go on site and see your designs being tested and implemented.

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