Essential Skills For Rail Engineering Candidates

CV / Resume Tips For Engineers, Guidance for Job Seekers

Essential Skills For Rail Engineering Candidates

If you want to find a job in rail engineering, especially if you’re looking to make a move from other areas of civil engineering, what skills do you need to highlight on your CV? Answers here.

rail engineering jobs, rail civil engineering, rail infrastructure

Demand for candidates to fit roles in the rail engineering sector is strong, with investment in rail infrastructure creating new job opportunities. Here at Energi People our Rail Engineering desk has seen lots of activity in Q1 and there is a lot of confidence in the sector as a whole.

So much so that civil engineering candidates with experience in other areas, particularly large scale infrastructure projects, are increasingly looking at moving into rail as an opportunity to work in this exciting sector. Projects like HS2, Crossrail, London Bridge Thameslink Redevelopment and Bank Station Capacity Upgrade are all creating significant demand for engineers.

If you’re interested in a move into rail civil engineering, what can you do to stand a chance of getting shortlisted? Here I share essential skills and attributes to highlight on your CV.

#1: Get Experience On Large Scale Projects

Owing to the scale of most rail infrastructure projects, clients are looking for civil engineers who have experience on similarly sized projects and understand the complexities and challenges of working in this kind of environment.

We’ve seen interest in candidates who’ve worked on projects like London 2012 (Olympic Park) as this is a comparable project to Crossrail and other rail schemes.

If you haven’t got this kind of experience, then that should probably be your next step within your current sector. If you have, make sure you highlight this on your CV, LinkedIn profile etc. so potential employers spot it easily.

#2: Demonstrate Budgeting Skills

Cost is a very sensitive factor in any rail project; the rail industry is always looking for cost efficiencies. Reducing budgets and lack of government investment are significant concerns for those in the sector and therefore candidates with commercial experience are sought after.

#3: Highlight Knowledge Of Design Standards

Many rail engineering jobs will specify that candidates need a knowledge of BS, HA, NR and Eurocode design standards. If you have this, then make sure you include it on your CV.

If you don’t and you know it could be a barrier to getting a job in rail engineering there are plenty of training providers who offer courses in Eurocode 3 etc.


Experience in relevant computer-aided design software is a must for any engineer. AutoCAD is widely used but often knowledge of other packages is wanted. For example Bentley Systems packages, like MicroStation, are also used in the rail sector.

Have a look at different rail engineering roles to see what firms are asking for. If your AutoCAD skills could do with brushing up, go on a refresher course; and consider investing in training in other packages too.

As with any job application it’s important to assess your skills, qualifications and achievements and how they relate to the job opportunity. If you’re looking to move into rail from other civil engineering disciplines it is helpful to do some research into different rail projects and identify the key transferable skills. ICE has a database of case studies to get started with.

Speak to specialist recruitment consultants too who have good relationships with employers in the rail engineering sector. They will be able to advise you on what their clients are looking for, and what you need to do to stand out.

If you want to discuss your next move, whether you are a rail engineer or are want to get into this sector, give me a call – +44 (0)1252 413 080 or email [email protected]

You can also register online here.