HAVE you ever wondered how one becomes a train driver and whether the pay is actually any good?
Well, this is how much UK train drivers get paid and how you can start you way to becoming one too.
The average UK train driver earns £54,001 per year
What is a train driver’s salary in the UK?
Salaries for train drivers are dependent on which company they work for and their experience.
The average base pay for a driver in the UK is £54,001 per year, according to Glassdoor.
The jobs site says the average is estimated from real salaries submitted anonymously by train drivers around the country.
The pay scale can range from around £20,000 while training to more than £65,000 for experienced drivers.
Drivers work an average of 35 to 40 hours a week, including evening and weekend shifts.
Benefits include free or cut-price travel.
Here are some of the salaries reported by drivers working for the main operators in the UK:
- Great Western Railway: £24k to £61k
- Southeastern Railway: £50k to £58k
- London Underground: £58k to £62k
- Arriva Group: £48k to £102k
- Govia Thameslink Railway: £23k to £65k
- London Overground: £58k to £66k
- South Western Railway: £53k to £70k
- Transport for London: £58k to £62k
- Crosscountry Trains: £65k to £70k
- ScotRail: £51k to £57k
- East Midlands Trains: £53k to £70k
- Northern Rail: £41k to £58k
- Abellio: £47k to £50k
How do you become a train driver?
To become a train driver you need to apply for a training programme with an operating company.
Normally you will need to be over 20 years old to work on the national rail network or over 18 for the Tube.
You will also need to live within one hour of the area you are applying to work in.
Alternatively you could start out by doing another job such as passenger assistant or conductor, and then apply for trainee driver posts when they become available.
What qualifications do you need to become a train driver?
There are no specific entry requirements but most operators expect a “good standard of education” – often a minimum of GCSEs in English and maths at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent.
To be accepted, you’ll need to pass a medical check which will include eyesight, colour vision and hearing, and also drug and alcohol tests.
Aptitude tests – measuring reaction times and concentration – and psychometric tests can also be part of the selection process to assess candidates’ suitability.
Drivers are responsible for the safety of hundreds of people every day so they need to be sure new recruits can handle it.
You may also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Do you get paid while training to become a train driver?
Yes, drivers are employed while they are training and get paid the entry salary for that operator.
The training schemes normally last between nine and 18 months.
London Underground’s training course lasts for 22 weeks.
LU trainees start on a salary of around £24,000, which almost doubles when they become fully qualified.
NEWS ON TRAVEL DELAYS AND DISRUPTIONS
What age do train drivers retire?
There is no age limit for train drivers.
Drivers’ union Aslef has said they should retire at the state pension age.
Some drivers on older contracts were able to retire any time after the age of 50.
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