The data used to inform this article has been taken from Linear Recruitment’s internal salary data covering April 2020 to March 2021, analysing 40,000 salary data points on candidates we have placed in permanent and temporary roles, and is not indicative of the wider industry, nor future roles through Linear Recruitment.

This report has been put together by rail recruitment specialists.

The rail industry in the UK in 2020/1 faced many challenges. Rail passenger numbers plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as people were only allowed to travel for essential purposes which meant the government spent £12bn supporting the rail industry during the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen site closures, employee shortages, the introduction of new working practices but also an ongoing lack of uncertainty. With that being said, the rail and transport industry is in the midst of a period of substantial growth, with a projected £48 billion set to be spent across the next five years so we can expect more projects to become available. 

Using our internal salary data and data that is publicly available, we have pulled together a guide to the rail industry and what you can expect to earn.

And remember, if you're looking for your next opportunity within the rail sector, our transport recruitment experts are always here to support you.

What is the Average Salary in the Rail and Transport Industry in 2020?

The average rail salary in the UK in 2020 is £45,472 per annum and the average hourly rate is £14.62.

There is a smaller variation between hourly rates in hourly PAYE rates, with the lowest being £11.50 for a Labourer, to the highest, £15.00 for Groundworkers.

Comparing day-rate vs hourly-rate for the Rail & Transport industry 

In this industry, there are a lot of workers who work on a non-PAYE basis, as opposed to salaries or hourly PAYE. For the hourly (non-PAYE) rate, the average in the UK is £17.12 per hour. This ranges from £13.53 per hour for a Labourer, to £25.67 per hour for Electricians and covers roles such as Steel Erectors, where the average hourly rate is £21.52 and Signallers, with an average rate of £16.00 per hour.

When looking at hourly and day rates, it is important to consider that these will often differ due to factors, this could be from company-to-company or the current state of the industry.

It is important to note that these figures do not take bonuses or benefits, such as a travel allowance, into account. 

Average Salary per City: 

It is common for salaries in most industries to depend on each location, this is also true for the rail industry, with variation from city to city. 


Average Salary

Salary Range
















South West London



South East London






(Total Jobs)

8 Top Jobs Within Rail Industry

1. Project Management

Project Director with Linear Recruitment: £66,750

Salaries across the market:
Project Manager: £48,199 (Glassdoor)
Project Planner: £42,866 (Indeed)

Project Managers oversee the development and delivery of all projects. This includes monitoring project progress, identifying staff training needs, updating documentation and ensuring that all projects are compliant with industry regulations.

2. Construction Management

Construction Manager with Linear Recruitment: £41,667

Salaries across the market:
Network Rail Construction Manager: £37,932 (Indeed)

In the rail industry, Construction Managers are responsible for the organisation of railway sites, this heavily involves ensuring that the site matches the Health & Safety guidelines. Additionally, they will manage the staff that are based on this site.

3. Rail Engineering

Average day-rate with Linear Recruitment: £298 per day

Salaries across the market:
Rail Engineer: £47,000 (TotalJobs)
Graduate Engineer: £28,236 (Glassdoor)
Rail Maintenance Engineer: £44,473 (Indeed)

Rail Engineers typically have varied, multi-faceted roles as it encompasses a range of different types of engineering. Responsibilities often include building new engines, repairing or replacing parts and carrying out maintenance checks. There ia also admin work involved, as railway engineers are often expected to complete reports and keep records of maintenance.

4. Trackman

Average PAYE hourly wage with Linear Recruitment: £13.00 per hour

Salaries across the market:
Trackman: £26,566 (Glassdoor)

The role of a Trackman is to perform maintenance and consutrction work specifically on railroad tracks, bridges and right-of-way. This is a hands-on role and will involve everything from changing railroad ties, to basic maintenance on machinery used.

5. Quantity Surveyor

Average day-rate with Linear Recruitment: £300 per day

Salaries across the market:
Quantity Surveyor: £37,000 (Glassdoor)

To ensure a project is completed within its budgets, Quantity Surveyors manage all costs across any rail project. They will be heavily involved with a project, from start to finish, forecasting the costs required to complete the task - as well as sourcing materials, valuing the work completed on site, and fulfil the appropriate documentation.

6. Railway Signaller

Non-PAYE hourly rate with Linear Recruitment: £17 per hour

Salaries across the market:
Signal Design Engineer: £33,599 (Glassdoor)
Signaller: £42,466 (Glassdoor)

The role of a Signaller is crucial as they ensure that trains run safely and on time. Day-to-day, a signaller will be expected to operate controls, signals and track trains with computer systems to ensure everything is running smoothly. This job involves a lot of communication, with train drivers and other rail workers.

Build Your Rail Career with Linear Recruitment

There are so many different jobs available in the rail industry, whether working as a labourer, with a trade, or in a managerial or supervisory position, yet all of them have excellent earning potential. 

Whether across the UK or beyond, Linear Recruitment is your expert advisor for careers and recruitment in the rail industry. If you’re ready to begin looking for a new role, check out our current jobs, or to be considered for future roles which match your skillset, register with us today.