Railway Track Workers

ANZSCO ID 8216

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
3,800
Future Growth
3.4%
Weekly Earnings
$2,252
Full-Time Share
90%
Female Share
4%
Average age
44

Summary

Railway Track Workers lay and repair tracks for railways, tramways, quarries and mines, and install and repair signals and other equipment.

Specialisations: Track Inspector.

Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Railway Track Worker. Some workers have a certificate II or III in rail infrastructure or rail track surfacing.

Tasks

  • spreading and tamping ballast to provide firm foundation for sleepers

  • cutting rails to length and grinding worn and rough rail ends

  • placing sleepers across roadbeds, and positioning and fastening rails on sleepers

  • drilling bolt holes, and bolting and welding rail sections

  • removing and replacing worn and damaged rails, sleepers and switches

  • cleaning and lubricating switches

  • examining track, lubricating wheel bearings on rolling stock and maintaining switch signal lamps

  • installing and repairing signals and other equipment

  • may assist with the righting of derailed rolling stock

Characteristics

Job Type
Labourers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Very Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC 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 moderately
  • is likely to reach 5,000 by 2026.
  • Source: National Skills Commission 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.

Projected Change
3.4%
(or 200 jobs)
From
4,900
in 2021
To
5,000
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 5,800
2012 3,100
2013 5,800
2014 3,100
2015 4,400
2016 4,700
2017 4,500
2018 2,800
2019 8,700
2020 4,200
2021 4,900
2026 5,000

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 90% of people employed as Railway Track Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 24 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 49 hours per week in their main job. This is 5 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,252 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,077
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,556

    Median hourly earnings are $57, 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)

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.
Earnings Railway Track Workers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,252 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Construction
47.2%
2
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
41.5%
3
Administrative and Support Services
5.7%
4
Mining
1.9%
5
Other industries
3.8%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

34.2% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

17.3% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

27.9% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

4.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

15.5% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

0.9% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.3% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.0% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Railway Track Workers All Jobs Average
NSW 34.2 31.6
VIC 17.3 25.6
QLD 27.9 20.0
SA 4.0 7.0
WA 15.5 10.8
TAS 0.9 2.0
NT 0.3 1.0
ACT 0.0 1.9


  • Around 62% of Railway Track Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Queensland and Western Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    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.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
44
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
4%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Railway Track Workers is 44 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 4% of the workforce. This is 44 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)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Railway Track Workers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.8 5.0
20-24 5.2 9.3
25-34 24.4 22.9
35-44 21.5 22.0
45-54 24.6 21.6
55-59 13.8 9.0
60-64 7.5 6.0
65 and Over 2.4 4.2
Median Age 44 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Railway Track Worker. Some workers have a certificate II or III in rail infrastructure or rail track surfacing.

Visit

  • 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)

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.
Type of Qualification Railway Track Workers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 1.1 10.1
Bachelor degree 2.4 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 5.2 11.6
Certificate III/IV 33.6 21.1
Year 12 17.0 18.1
Year 11 8.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 32.5 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 Railway Track Workers who are motivated and hardworking.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 46%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 45%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 45%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 43%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 43%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 43%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 43%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 41%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 39%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 39%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 39%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 37%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 34%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 34%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 32%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 32%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

  • 32%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 30%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 29%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 64%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 62%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 53%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 47%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 47%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 43%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 42%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 42%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 41%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 41%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 40%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 36%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 33%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 32%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 31%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 26%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 25%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 25%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 25%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 23%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 57%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 57%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 54%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 54%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 52%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 50%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 48%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 48%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 46%

    Dynamic strength

    Exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

  • 46%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 46%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 45%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 45%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 45%

    Rate control

    Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

  • 45%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 43%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 43%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 41%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 73%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 69%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 60%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 60%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 58%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 58%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 58%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 57%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 57%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 53%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 50%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 48%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 48%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 48%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 46%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 44%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 44%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 42%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 40%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 37%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.


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

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 33%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 19%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 67%

    Support

    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.

  • 52%

    Relationships

    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.

  • 48%

    Independence

    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.

  • 48%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 38%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 33%

    Recognition

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 99%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 98%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 96%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 91%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 88%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 88%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 88%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 88%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 87%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 87%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 86%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 83%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

  • 81%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 81%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 80%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 80%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 79%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 79%

    Bright or inadequate lighting

    Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.

  • 78%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

Occupational Information Network
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, 47-4061.00 - Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators.


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