Careers

Graduate Electrical Engineer at Transport for London

What is a Graduate Electrical Engineer?

As a graduate electrical engineer, you’ll experience a range of engineering projects on the London Underground. As well as the underground, you’ll also experience other TfL transport modes like the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) or road traffic management. You’ll learn the ropes of railway electrical engineering and get the chance to build upon your existing skills and experience though a number of training schemes and placements.

You’ll be part of a team who work to keep London moving both above and below the surface. You’ll work on various different aspects of railway electrical engineering including high-voltage, heavy-current power supplies that run the trains to signalling and control systems, which optimise the capacity of the railway. You’ll work on many different aspects within each placement. This could involve investigating and testing out new signalling systems, reviewing proposed designs for an asset to be installed in the modernisation of an underground station and many other new and ongoing projects that TfL and its supply chain are involved in.

What does a Graduate Electrical Engineer do?

As a graduate electrical engineer at Transport for London (TfL), you’ll be working on many different departments within London Underground. It’s initially a two-year scheme - you’ll start your career journey as an electrical engineer with various three-month placements in different departments within London Underground. These could include placements in signalling, station engineering and power engineering.

During your first few weeks on the engineering graduate scheme at TfL, you’ll be introduced to the company with an in-depth week-long induction. This is a chance to meet fellow graduates and visit various TfL sites, take part in activities and challenges, and get to grips with what TfL is really about. After this, you’ll complete an engineering induction where you’ll visit depots and get to know about engineering projects that TfL have got going on.

As an electrical engineer it is crucial to understand the impact TfL’s electrical systems have on customers. To better understand the needs of our customers and customer service teams you you’ll go on Customer Service Assistant (CSA) training as well as train operator training. This will give you an insight into other people’s roles at TfL. You’ll get to be a CSA for a week and develop your customer service skills. You’ll also get the chance to shadow an instructor operator on a tube line.

After this, you’ll start your first three-month placement. You’ll be involved with an engineering project that TfL are doing such as the Sub-Surface Programme (SUP) and Crossrail. You’ll spend some time on various construction sites, learning about how the London Underground operates and the changes that are being implemented.

You could find yourself working on many different projects through the engineering graduate scheme at TfL. Some things you could be doing include using design software to model circuits for lighting to be installed as part of the modernisation plan. You could also be involved in testing and commissioning equipment, conducting investigations into whether an engineering project would work.

Is a career in electrical engineering right for me?

Passionate about engineering? Studying towards an engineering degree? Are you a keen problem solver who’s willing to learn? Want to help keep London moving in the right direction?

If that sounds like you, then a career in electrical engineering could be the answer.

How to become a Graduate Electrical Engineer

To get onto the TfL electrical engineering graduate scheme you’ll need a 2:2 classification or above degree in electrical, electronic or mechatronic engineering (or related degree). You’ll also need to be able to demonstrate your skills at every stage of the application process – from initial application form and situational strengths test to assessment centre.

Transport for London look for the following skills and qualities when hiring for their electrical engineering graduate scheme:

  • High standards of written and verbal communication
  • Showing good analytical, problem solving and inductive reasoning skills
  • Collaborating with colleagues, share information, knowledge and skills
  • Showing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Using your own initiative, seeking out new opportunities for learning, career progression and challenges
  • Working on site when necessary
  • Demonstrating a structured and methodical approach to tasks, identifying priorities and setting deadlines.

It will also boost your employability if you can show your passion and dedication for engineering if you take on work experience or an internship whilst studying and school or university. To look for opportunities like internships, use Plotr’s job finder tool.

If you choose not to do an engineering degree, TfL also have an apprenticeship scheme where they offer various engineering roles. Find out more here.

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