IF you have good customer-service skills and would like a job in transport, then perhaps a position as a member of staff at a train station could be just for you.
In this post, as part of a team you would deal with customers and carry out duties on the station platforms.
Good communication skills are essential. You will also need to have a good memory and be good with numbers, so you can deal with timetables and fares.
Employers will expect you to have a good standard of English and maths, and you may be tested on your maths and communication skills at the interview stage. You would also have to pass a medical. You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship scheme.
Typical tasks could include:
• SELLING and checking tickets;
• MAKING sure that passengers get on and off the train safely;
• HELPING to load and unload luggage;
• SIGNALLING the guard or driver to depart;
• UPDATING message displays showing passenger information;
• MAKING passenger announcements;
• OPERATING CCTV cameras;
• GIVING out information on services, routes, train times and delays.
In smaller stations, you may have other tasks, such as cleaning or clearing snow and ice off platforms during the winter.
You would usually work 37 to 39 hours a week, in shifts of up to 12 hours covering evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays.
Your time would be split between the information centre or ticket office and the station platforms and a uniform would typically be provided.
Starting salaries can be around £12,500 a year. Experienced staff can earn from £14,000 to around £21,000. Free or reduced-price travel is sometimes offered as an extra benefit (figures are intended as a guideline only).
A common way into this career is to apply directly to train operating companies or Network Rail. Employers will expect you to have a good standard of English and maths, and you may be tested on your maths and communication skills at the interview stage.
You would also have to pass a medical, including fitness, eyesight, colour vision and hearing tests. The safety of rail passengers is crucial, and operating companies have a rigid policy on drug and alcohol abuse. Once you start work you could be tested for drugs or alcohol at any time.
Experience of working with the public in a retail or customer service environment could give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
You may be able to get into this career by completing an apprenticeship with a train operating company (TOC).