Network Rail could be your best career move yet

Published: 19 Jun 2017 By Georgina Bloomfield

The rail industry is one of the oldest, largest and fastest growing areas in the world of engineering. Network Rail is responsible for running, maintaining and developing the country’s entire rail infrastructure. A career with Network Rail will completely transform and pave the way for future generations of rail. Every day, 4.5 million people use their network. In partnership with train operators they help people take more than 1.6 billion journeys by rail every year.


Even if you’re an experienced engineer working in a different industry, Network Rail could be the best career move you’ve ever made.

Currently, Network Rail are recruiting for Senior Engineers and Principal Engineers to join their vastly growing team. Read on to find out more about these exciting opportunities with Network Rail:

Senior Engineers (Milton Keynes: £50,000 - £56,250)

If you’re looking for a step up in your career or you just want a change, a Senior Engineer role with Network Rail could be a perfect fit. The purpose of this role is to provide technical engineering input, support and advice across a designated engineering discipline. You’ll be managing people too, as well as providing expert advice, support and input to technical accident and incident investigations. It’s a large role with a lot of responsibilities, including providing support to the development of strategy, technology and assets across functions and with industry partners, and liaising with product manufacturers, including external stakeholder e.g. TOC and providing input into the acceptance processes. As a Senior Engineer, you’ll have your voice heard as you identify opportunities for technical and business process improvement and innovation, develop business cases and Investment Papers where required.

The essential criteria for such a role are as follows:

•             Degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline or able to demonstrate an equivalent level of experience (Level 6)

•             Membership of a relevant technical body

•             Broad technical engineering experience

•             Project or financial planning and management experience.

Chartered status is desirable but not essential. If you’d like to look into the job specification a bit more before applying, click here.

Principal Engineers (Milton Keynes: £76,800 - £86,400)

If being a Principal Engineer is more up your street, here are a few details about this role with Network Rail. The purpose of the role is to provide technical expertise and direction for a designated engineering discipline. Again you’ll be managing people similar to the Senior Engineer role. A large part of this role is providing professional leadership for the development of engineers aligned to the engineering discipline and undertaking professional mentorship of engineers in support of their achievement of professional registration to their relevant Engineering Council.

You can also expect to lead the setting of policy and standards, operational processes and systems and manage the design and delivery of programmes for the development of technical capability required within Network Rail, including competence frameworks and effective training materials.

Once again you’ll have a lot of responsibility in this particular role, by setting strategy within the technical engineering area in liaison with experts internally and externally including regulatory bodies.

The essential criteria for the Principal Engineer role with Network Rail are as follows:

•             Chartered Engineer or demonstrate equivalent experience (Level 7)

•             A sound knowledge of applicable policies, standards and national legislation

•             Experience of developing technology and product strategies

•             Knowledge of the safety management and risk assessment process

Formal Project Management qualification (e.g. APMP, PRINCE2, PMIP, and MSP) is desirable but not essential, as well as having previous railway experience. If you’d like to look into the job specification a bit more before applying, click here.

Get up to 75% off season rail tickets as part of a large benefits package as a Network Rail employee

At Network Rail, you have the chance to develop a long, rewarding career. There are many different career paths - and many opportunities to fulfil your potential. After all, they believe that investing in their people via training and development is one of the most effective ways of improving the safety, reliability and efficiency of the railways. You can expect competitive pay, a bonus scheme and a choice of contributory pension schemes. They also offer a generous annual leave package, plus up to 75% discount on season rail tickets.

Pension schemes

Network rail are proud to offer a range of pension schemes to their employees that provide flexibility and choice. Most new employees are eligible to join either the NRDC defined contribution scheme, the NR CARE Scheme or our career average scheme – a type of defined benefit arrangement. After five years’ continuous company service, employees are eligible to join the defined benefit Network Rail section of the Railways Pension Scheme. To find out more, click here. 

Leadership development

Both of these roles require managing people, and if you feel like you may need support in this area, Network Rail is more than able to facilitate this.

Network Rail’s leadership programmes develop people for management positions at all levels across the business. They have invested significantly in our Westwood development centre and their partnership with the University of Warwick.

Network Rail develop and deliver programmes for thousands of our managers every year to equip them with the skills, capabilities and strategic knowledge they need to help achieve our ambitious goals and targets. This has strengthened their capability to set performance targets, review progress and to coach, motivate and support their staff.

Back to listing