Saturday, February 24, 2024

How to get a job as a Tube, bus, tram or train driver and earn up to £69k

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Ever wondered how to become a driver on London’s transport network and earn up to £69,000 a year? London Underground, bus and tram drivers are crucial to how the city runs.

There are many opportunities within the TfL network, with several paths leading to the highest paid jobs.

Becoming a Tube driver may not be as easy as it seems, MyLondon reports. Take a look at the full breakdown below.

Tube driver

You don’t need any specific degrees or training, but you can’t just find a vacancy on any job website as these roles are rarely advertised to the public.

Typically, these roles are only advertised to TfL colleagues due to an agreement between TfL and unions in 2008.

The usual route to becoming a Tube driver involves working in a different role within TfL first, often customer-facing, and successfully completing a probation period. After this, you can be entered into an internal talent pool or apply for a Tube driver position.

Becoming a driver involves several steps. These include meeting certain eyesight and fitness standards, passing various aptitude tests, and then a face-to-face interview. If you’re successful, it’s a three to six month training course where failing an assessment means returning to your original role.

According to an FOI from 2022, a train operator for TfL’s annual salary was £58,021. with a roster of 3,208 employees.

Train driver

Becoming a train driver is a bit easier as vacancies are posted on the company’s website. The caveat is that you usually have to live within 30 minutes of the depot by transport and prove that you are able to get there at any time of day and night.

To get a mainline passenger train role is difficult without experience so usually it’s easier to become a shunt driver at first. This is a driver who moves trains around depots and gaining experience here would help with progression to passenger trains.

Like the Tube, there is a load of training to progress to being a driver. Your train driving licence is periodically reviewed and competence is regularly tested.

Salaries vary depending on the type of train you are driving. In London, recruitment website Reed.com, says that the average train driver salary in London is £58,795. Starting salaries are around £30,000 but experienced professionals have salaries in that often exceed £69,000.

Bus or tram driver

To become a bus or tram driver, you first need a valid UK driving licence. Tram jobs are listed on the FirstGroup website as they’re outsourced by TfL, while bus job vacancies can be found directly on the TfL website.

Trams operate from Therapia Lane Depot in Croydon and you must be able to reach the depot at all times for a driving role. The salary ranges from £19,000 for beginners to over £40,000 per year for experienced drivers, with an average of around £30,000 in London.

Bus drivers’ pay depends on hours worked. According to Indeed, the average hourly wage is £17.31. If you work eight-hour shifts, five days a week, your annual salary would be about £36,004.

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