As a member of a team of train station staff, you would deal with customers and carry out duties on the station platforms.
Typical tasks could include:
In smaller stations, you may have other tasks, such as cleaning or clearing snow and ice off platforms during the winter.
You would usually work 37 to 39 hours a week, in shifts of up to 12 hours covering evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
Your time would be split between the information centre or ticket office and the station platforms.
Your employer would provide you with a uniform.
Starting salaries can be around £12,500 a year. Experienced staff can earn from £14,000 to around £21,000.
Free or reduced price travel is sometimes offered as an extra benefit.
A common way into this career is to apply directly to train operating companies or Network Rail.
Experience of working with the public in a retail or customer service environment could give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
Most jobs are likely to be with train operating companies and companies that run light rail and metro systems (for example the London Underground). You can find a list of train operating companies on the Network Rail website.
Employers will expect you to have a good standard of English and maths, and you may be tested on your maths and communication skills at the interview stage.
You would also have to pass a medical, including fitness, eyesight, colour vision and hearing tests. The safety of rail passengers is crucial, and operating companies have a rigid policy on drug and alcohol abuse. Once you start work you could be tested for drugs or alcohol at any time.
You may be able to get into this career by completing an Apprenticeship with a train operating company. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.
Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.
Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You would usually start your job with a short induction course covering:
- Company rules and procedures
- Safety issues
- Customer service
- Timetables and fares
You would then develop your skills by working alongside experienced station staff on the platform, in the ticket office and in the information centre.
You could work towards NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Rail Services (Passenger Services), or NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Customer Service.
Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and perform a variety of technical support functions to help scientists, technologists and others with their work. They can work in research and development, scientific analysis and testing, education and manufacturing.
They are employed in a wide range of scientific fields which affect almost every aspect of our lives.
Railway train station staff need:
With experience, you could be promoted to senior station assistant, station team supervisor, assistant station manager and eventually station manager. You could also become a ticket inspector and progress to revenue protection officer.
You may have the chance to move into related jobs, such as train guard/conductor or driver, or take up an administration job in the station offices, for example ticket sales and information.
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