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Train conductor Train guard, train crew

Train conductors issue tickets to rail passengers and make sure that their journeys are safe and comfortable.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £12,000 to £28,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry qualifications for this role, although employers will expect you to have a good standard of English and maths.

Experience of working with the public in retail or customer service could give you an advantage.

You may also be able to move into this job after first working as a member of the train station staff team.

If selected for interview, train operating companies (TOCs) will usually test you on your maths, communication, and customer service skills. You'll also have to pass a medical and be screened for drugs and alcohol.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent customer service skills
  • a clear speaking voice for making passenger announcements
  • the ability to deal professionally with upset or angry passengers
  • good maths skills for handling cash and payments

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • checking the carriages are clean before the start of a journey
  • making sure equipment, doors and controls are working properly
  • walking through carriages during the journey, checking tickets and travel documents
  • answering passengers' questions about routes, arrival times and connections
  • making announcements over the public address system
  • making sure passengers get on and off the train safely
  • dealing with unexpected delays or emergencies, for example a passenger falling ill

You'll also write reports, detailing any delays or incidents that occur during each journey.

4. Salary

Starter: £12,000 to £15,000

Experienced: £17,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: £28,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 35 to 37 hours a week, possibly on a shift system including early mornings, late nights and weekends.

You'll work from a cab on the train, but may also spend time on the platform.

Your employer will supply you with a uniform.

6. Career path and progression

TOCs often promote existing station staff to conductor jobs, so you may be able to transfer from a platform assistant or onboard catering host role.

With experience, you may be able to progress to senior conductor or train manager, or transfer to a driver training programme.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017