HS2 Route Engineer

Is an HS2 Route Engineer career right for me?

Are you able solve problems in a logical way? Could you weigh up competing priorities to find the best possible solution? Can you communicate well with people and get your ideas across clearly? Do you want to be involved in a big project, making decisions that will make a big difference for years to come?

If that sounds like you, then a career in route engineering could be the answer.

Advantages and disadvantages of being an HS2 Route Engineer


  • You get to build something that millions of people will use every day.
  • It’s great to be able to work in a collaborative way with teams from across the organisation to help make these important decisions.


  • There are lots of competing demands in the engineering of a high speed rail line – each pulling you in a different direction. Sometimes it can be very hard to find a solution that works for everyone.

Useful skills and entry qualifications

When picking your subject options, you should include lots of STEM subjects – these will put you on the right path for engineering.

The entry requirements for an engineering university course or apprenticeship will vary, but you need to show a university tutor or an employer that you are passionate about engineering – you need to be genuinely interested to enjoy it and stick with your choice. Look for work experience opportunities while at school: that could be a day of shadowing an engineer at work, or applying for a longer work placement.

There are lots of engineering organisations and consultants in the UK, and some may be working on a major project in your area. Do some research online: do any companies have an office near you? And your careers education tutor at school may be able to help too.

What qualifications do you need to be an HS2 Route Engineer?

The qualifications required include:

  • At least 5 GCSEs (A*-C) and two or three A-levels in STEM subjects (like physics, maths, Information Technology or Design Technology).
  • If you don’t have A-levels, you could also do an Access to Higher Education qualification or Level 3 Diploma in Engineering.
  • A bachelor of engineering (BEng) or a master of engineering (MEng) degree. Look out for courses that are accredited by a professional institution, such as the ICE or IET.
  • You could also do a technician apprenticeship in a subject like Railway Design Engineering – this could be at Level 3 or Level 4. It won’t give you a degree qualification, but you’ll get a huge amount of industry experience to start your engineering career. You could always advance your qualifications later as a mature student, or study part-time.

What is the workplace of an HS2 Route Engineer like?

Route engineering is part of HS2’s design stage, so most work is done in the office. However, you may be required to travel to various sites along the proposed line of route.

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