People with the Personal Track Safety certification (PTS) are legally allowed to carry out a number of jobs on and around railway tracks. Engineers, labourers and anyone wishing to work on British railways must be in possession of this certification.
Construction workers, engineers, and technical staff will usually be nominated by their employers to take a short training course with a view to obtaining a Sentinel Personal Track Safety Card. Candidates will need to demonstrate they are fully aware of all health and safety regulations in relation to working on the railways. Some employers and recruitment agencies will only interview potential staff who have held their Sentinel card for at least two years.
Companies such as Network Rail and Balfour Beatty conduct maintenance work on tracks on a regular basis, but employment opportunities in this area are limited due to the demand for them. Other companies who offer employment opportunities to people with a PTS card include electrical companies that work on overhead cables and the Health and Safety Executive.
Salaries vary widely depending on the PTS card-holder's role. Labourers can earn anything between £7 and £20 per hour. Senior engineers and officials will have the chance to earn anything up to £60,000 per year.