How to become a Train Driver

Train Driver

Train drivers drive trains along a rail network in order to transport passengers or freight.

Personal requirements for a Train Driver

  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to solve mechanical and technical problems
  • Good problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Good memory for learning safety procedures and regulations

Education & Training for a Train Driver

To become a train driver you usually need to complete a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional information

Applicants must undergo a selection process, including an interview, a medical assessment, and personality, aptitude and ability tests. Age limits may apply. You may need a current drivers licence, a National Police Check and a driving history report.

Duties & Tasks of a Train Driver

Train drivers:

  • Operate the train's controls
  • Manage and coordinate train movements
  • Stop at stations to pick up passengers or freight
  • Inspect trains and report defects or adjustments
  • Shunt rolling stock in marshalling yards
  • Provide information to passengers using an onboard communications system
  • Refuel diesel trains and check oil, water and sand, and top up as necessary
  • Observe and obey rail signalling instructions, speed limits and other railway rules, procedures and instructions from the network control centre.


  • May advise passengers on destinations.
  • Observes signals, track conditions, nearby traffic and prescribed speeds to ensure safety.
  • Opens and closes doors before and after passengers board or disembark.
  • Monitors indicator gauges, changes controls and power supply poles and reports operating irregularities.
  • Checks time and adherence to timetables.
  • Stops at stations and set locations to pick up and set down passengers and freight.

Working conditions for a Train Driver

All train drivers work shifts, which may include weekends and public holidays. Train crew on long-distance journeys may be required to stay away overnight.

Employment Opportunities for a Train Driver

Train drivers are employed by passenger and freight rail operators. Rail services are provided throughout Australia by passenger operators and national freight operators. With experience and further training, promotion to supervisory or other positions is possible.


Train Driver

Train drivers drive trains along a rail network in order to transport passengers or freight.

  • Average age
    Average age
    48 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    8% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    46 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    94% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    10,000 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.0%
    NSW: 33.4%
    NT: 0.3%
    QLD: 29.9%
    SA: 5.7%
    TAS: 0.7%
    VIC: 16.0%
    WA: 14.1%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.3%
    20-24: 1.8%
    25-34: 15%
    35-44: 21.9%
    45-54: 32.2%
    55-59: 17%
    60-64: 8.5%
    65 and Over: 3.2%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 6.1%
    Bachelor degree: 4.6%
    Certificate III/IV: 42.7%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 1.3%
    Year 10 and below: 22.7%
    Year 11: 6.3%
    Year 12: 16.3%
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