How to become a Train Driver

Train Drivers are responsible for driving and operating trains. There are many different kinds of trains you could drive, such as passenger trains, freight trains, trams, locomotives, and more. Your duties and working hours will also vary depending on the type of train you drive.

If you want a job that could let you see lots of different places, and you are reliable and flexible, becoming a Train Driver could be perfect for you.


About you:


  • Punctual and reliable
  • Excellent communicator
  • Great problem solver
  • Works well independently
  • Quick reflexes
  • Calm in pressure situations
  • Good attention to detail
  • Flexible and adaptable


The job:


  • Inspecting the train prior to departure
  • Monitoring the safety of passengers during travel
  • Ensuring freight loads and carriages are fixed securely
  • Controlling the speed of the train in accordance with rules
  • Ensuring trains arrive and depart on time
  • Making minor adjustments and repairs to trains
  • Making announcements to passengers
  • Liaising with other workers, such as security and station guards


Lifestyle Impact: Moderate


  • Part Time opportunities: Very low – only around 7% of Train Drivers work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 45 hours a week, which is average (source:
  • Train Drivers’ salary (average) $120,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Moderate (source:
  • You will most likely have to work on weekends, holidays, and overnights. Train Drivers also commonly do shift work, meaning you may have to be available for work 24/7 (though this will depend on your employer).


Train Drivers are most in demand in these locations:


This is a medium sized occupation, with around 13,300 people working as Train Drivers in Australia in 2020 (source: Demand for Train Drivers is spread fairly evenly across Australia, with large demand in Queensland. Most Train Drivers work in the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry.


How to become a Train Driver in Australia


You will most likely need to complete a relevant VET qualification to become a Train Driver in Australia.


Step 1 – Complete Year 10 with a focus on English and Maths.


Step 2 – Complete a relevant VET qualification, such as a Certificate IV in Train Driving. In some cases you may even be able to complete the qualification as a Traineeship.


Step 3 – You may be required to pass a Rail Workers Safety Medical, as well as have a Driver’s License.


Step 4 – Start working as a fully qualified Train Driver.


Find out more here –


Similar Careers to Train Driver


Logistics Manager


Truck Driver

Drone Operator

Delivery Driver


Bus Driver


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Train Drivers do?


Train Drivers are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of a variety of trains.


Which industries employ Train Drivers?


Train Drivers are mostly employed in the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry.


What options are there for career progression?


You might start working as a Train Driver, and once you have lots of experience move into roles in Management or Logistics.


Do I need to go to university to become a Train Driver?


No, you do not need to go to university to work as a Train Driver in Australia. However, you will need a VET qualification.


Where do Train Drivers work?


There is demand for Train Drivers across Australia, particularly in Queensland.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Train Driver?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Train Driver is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. See if you can find work experience in a transport or logistics-based setting. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
  2. Consider undertaking a school-based traineeship to get a head start on gaining the required qualifications and experience.
  3. Talk to a Train Driver to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in transport.

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