Mechanical and electrical engineering work in the rail industry requires a variety of workers with expertise to ensure projects are created or existing structures and facilities are maintained. Coordinators, planners, surveyors and managers are just some of the members of staff who are part of the team that make sure the UK's rail network is fit-for-purpose.
Recruitment agencies work to fill positions around the country, however Britain's largest cities provide most prospects, and especially London. The London Underground is an extensive ongoing project in itself, with specialists needed to keep it maintained and improved. The building of the capital's Crossrail is also creating employment opportunities for all types of M&E workers.
Average salaries in this sector are between about £25,000 and £40,000, depending on qualifications, experience and job rank, with graduate salaries coming in at a respectable £25-26,000 at organisations such as Transport for London and Network Rail.
Staff members will work in a combination of environments, both in the office undertaking administrative duties, design and planning, to on-site visits carrying out practical and research work. Rail Transport Engineering apprenticeships are available while most will enter the workplace with a degree and possible a post-graduate qualification.
The National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering proposes to tackle the shortage of skills required in the sector by working with employers to provide the necessary expertise to employees by 2015.