A level results day: explore engineering

A level results day: explore engineering

Published 15 August 2019 | Average read time
5 min read
Stories Life at Network Rail Stories

We’re wishing the best of luck to everyone collecting A level results today!

If you’re thinking about your next steps, find out about the huge range of rewarding career opportunities in engineering.

With so many types of roles and disciplines available, “your passion can come out,” says Tara Scott, principal engineer, track.

Watch our film, Just Like Me, to hear from engineers across the railway:

We have locations across Britain and a huge range of disciplines at all levels.

In fact, huge investment in rail infrastructure, advances in engineering and technology, and world-class training mean now is the best time to embark on a career on the railway.

“Now is the best time to be an engineer.” – Tara Scott, principal engineer, track

“Find what you burn for.” – Rikke Carmichael, head of air operations

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Dorota Durazinska, project engineer

Our apprenticeships programme gives newcomers three career-advancing years that offer far more than an education. Find out about earning while you learn, qualifications and becoming part of the next generation of engineers.

Our standout graduate and placement schemesprovide boundless opportunities.

Read everything you need to know about our graduate scheme, undergraduate placements and the application process here.

Our huge and vital operational function delivers the services that ensure safe performance of the railway, including managing the systems and processes that keep the rail network working.

Work by the operational function encompasses:

Network Rail graduates on a trip to learn about traditional railway signalling
  • Signalling operators in our regional Rail Operating Centres
  • Mobile operations managers and incident response teams that help reopen any part of the network that’s blocked
  • Level crossing managers and station customer service teams
  • Infrastructure maintenance.

Hear more from the engineers in the film:


What would you tell a young person who doesn’t think engineering is for them?

It may not be, but I think look at the railway as being a huge family where whatever your passion is, whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find a home on the railway. Engineering is exciting, it’s innovative, it’s pushing boundaries. There are so many different roles within the railway that your passion can come out… We need everyone.”

Tara Scott

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a paramedic. I’ve always been fascinated with making things better, making people better… One, I’m petrified of blood and two, I have a huge phobia of needles… I found the next best thing, which was being an engineer. I can still help people, I just make the railway safer for them to travel.

What does the railway mean to you now?

It means everything… It’s an amazing opportunity and there are amazing things we’re doing… It keeps us going as a country. Every small little bit we can put to make something better, that’s really important to me. Making sure Mrs Jones gets from A to B on time and we don’t have any incidents so she doesn’t even think about her journey. I think that’s where we need to drive to be.


Helen Warnock
Why would you say science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are interesting and exciting?

The thing that makes it interesting is how it’s applied, what you do, the people you meet, the impact you have. People see engineering as very focussed, that it’s not creative but actually, it is hugely a creative part of the industry.

You get to build things, you get to interact with lots and lots of different people form lots of different disciplines so it won’t be just the discipline you’re taught about in your engineering discipline. If you come in as a track person, you’ll have to liaise with [signals and telecoms], you’ll have to work with electrification ,you might want to talk to the geo-technical teams and you’ve got to make something work together – that is what makes engineering interesting.

Who is your inspiration?

It’s important to find pieces of inspiration in the people around you. I’ve got fantastic team leaders who work for me who are super inspiring… who really deliver the job; they do it really well.

What does the railway mean to you?

It’s fundamentally about the people in it… The thing that really keeps people in the industry is other people… It’s the comradery, that sense of family. In a way, that’s what the railway means to me. It’s something that’s much bigger than one individual or a single-discipline career… When you understand the enormity of what it does and you feel part of that, that is what the railway means to me.   


Do you have any mantras?

Trust your instincts and believe in yourself.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

It’s not work/life balance, it’s life balance.

What advice would you give girls and young women today?

Never give up and dream big.

Kamini Edgley

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