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Rail engineering manager

Head of track

A rail engineering manager is responsible for leading and implementing engineering design work for rail projects. They assess the skills and specifications required, and then oversee business operations to ensure that project briefs are followed and implemented accurately.

Average salary*




Typical hours per week


How to become a rail engineering manager

There are several routes to becoming a rail engineering manager. You could complete a university or college course, a degree apprenticeship, or on-the-job training to gain the skills required.

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions. 

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


To become a rail engineering manager, you could complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in civil engineering, specialising in rail engineering.

After graduating, you may be able to apply for a position on a rail company’s graduate training scheme to gain workplace experience as a rail engineer.

You’ll need:

College/training provider

You could complete a course through a specialist training provider to start you on your journey to becoming a rail engineering manager.  Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Rail Engineering Operative Competence
  • Level 3 Diploma in Rail Engineering Technician.

You'll usually need: 


You could complete a rail technician advanced apprenticeship to gain the skills necessary to become a rail engineering manager. Network Rail or Transport for London may offer opportunities to train in this field.

For an advanced apprenticeship you’ll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.


If you have experience as a rail engineer, you could complete on-the-job training to further your skills and enable you to apply directly to a rail company to become a rail engineering manager.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a rail engineering manager. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a rail engineering manager  include: 

  • Knowledge of transport methods
  • A technical understanding of rail engineering
  • Ability to operate and control rail equipment
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Leadership and teamworking skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to think analytically and solve problems.

What does a rail engineering manager do?

As a rail engineering manager, you will be responsible for leading and coordinating a team of rail engineers and overseeing business operations relating to transport projects.

The role of a rail engineering manager may involve the following duties: 

  • Providing strategic advice and knowledge associated with rail engineering
  • Collaborating with design managers to help find the best engineering solutions
  • Providing technical direction for track engineering teams onsite
  • Producing design briefs and schedules of work
  • Identifying, mentoring and developing junior staff
  • Managing projects in a high quality, professional and commercially viable manner
  • Ensuring risks are identified and controlled
  • Overseeing bid and tender documents
  • Carrying out work to meet health, safety and environmental standards
  • Liaising with key stakeholders and producing reports for senior managers
  • Ensuring rail engineering projects comply with legislation and industry standards
  • Collaborating with other contractors and specialists.

How much could you earn as a rail engineering manager?

The expected salary for a rail engineering manager varies as you become more experienced.

  • A newly trained rail engineering manager can earn £30,000 - £35,000
  • Trained rail engineering managers with some experience can earn £35,000 - £50,000
  • Senior rail engineering managers can earn £50,000 - £70,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest rail engineering manager vacancies:  

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a rail engineering manager, you could progress to a more senior role and earn a higher salary.

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