Train Driver

Also known as: Locomotive Driver

Job Role: Driving between stations or depots, communicating with control centres, following track signalling and safety instructions

Job insights

Skills required to be a Train Driver

  • Work under pressure
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong communication skills
  • Safety awareness

Job role

Operate mechanical equipment

Female train driver sitting at controls

The role

Demand for freight train drivers is particularly high.

Driver tasks include:
• inspecting the train prior to departure
• reporting defects
• carrying out adjustments and undertaking repairs
• monitoring the train's speed
• making announcements to passengers and liaising with onboard staff.
Female train driver sitting at controls
Skills required

Skills required to be a Train Driver

  • Physically fit
  • Valid drivers licence
  • Ability to work outdoors
  • Can respond to abnormal situations and emergencies 
Entry pathways

Previous experience

Train Drivers often come from a career in:

  • construction or property services 
  • resources, engineering or manufacturing sectors
  • mechanic or mobile plant operations
  • rail customer service 
  • Railway track operations


Minimum requirements

Rail operators generally recruit new drivers into a traineeship, during which time they complete the necessary training and in many cases receive a TLI42622 - Certificate IV in Train Driving.

For more information contact rail operators about their training programs.

You can find out more about who's studying to be a Train Driver and where they are doing their training here.



Career progression

What a Train Driver's career progression can look like

Train Drivers may look to advance their career through opportunities such as superintendent, network controller, maintenance planner or operations manager.

train driver - career
What do I do next

What do I do next?

Our findings include information from the Australian Industry Standards' Seamless Future Rail Skills report. Take a look at their Train Driver pathways.

Our analysis on Train Driver training in Australia can be found here.

For more information on becoming a Train Driver:

  • contact train companies about their driver training programs
  • check out the Work in Rail website
  • talk to your careers adviser 
  • get in touch with your union
  • contact your local TAFE
  • if you already work in rail, talk to your employer.
Meet the people

Meet Margaret



Margaret Fisk was a former retail assistant and stay-at-home mum when she decided to take her life in a new direction. She now works as a Train Driver and Driving Instructor for Public Transport Authority WA.

Read about her journey here.

If you have great job in rail, get in touch.