Train and Tram Drivers
Train and Tram Drivers drive trains and trams to transport passengers and freight on rail networks.
stopping at stations and set locations to pick up and set down passengers and freight
opening and closing doors before and after passengers board or alight
observing signals, track conditions, nearby traffic and prescribed speeds to ensure safety
monitoring indicator gauges, changing controls and power supply poles and reporting operating irregularities
checking time and adherence to timetables
may advise passengers on destinations
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 12,800 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 93% of people employed as Train and Tram Drivers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 27 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $2,134 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,834
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,562
Median hourly earnings are $53, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Train and Tram Drivers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Train and Tram Drivers||All Jobs Average|
Around 57% of Train and Tram Drivers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Train and Tram Drivers is 49 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 9% of the workforce. This is 39 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Train and Tram Drivers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.2||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate IV in rail or train driving is usually needed to work as a Train or Tram Driver.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Train and Tram Drivers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||1.9||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||21.4||12.5|
Source: 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.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Train and Tram Drivers who can interact with customers, provide good customer service and are well presented.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
59%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
43%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
43%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
43%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Using maths to solve problems.
36%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
55%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
47%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
41%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
37%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
33%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
27%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
26%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
23%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
18%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
16%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are far away.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
50%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Tell the difference between sounds.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
78%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
76%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
73%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
69%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
68%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
65%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
61%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
61%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
60%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
60%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
60%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
58%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
56%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
52%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
52%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
52%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
49%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
48%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
48%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
46%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
97%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
97%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Talk with people face-to-face.
96%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
Work with people in a group or team.
95%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
92%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
90%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk on the telephone.
89%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
89%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
Work to strict deadlines.
87%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
87%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
87%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
87%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
87%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
81%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
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, 53-4011.00 - Locomotive Engineers.