Signals & Communications Apprentice – Province of Quebec

Canadian National Railway

CN is home to opportunities for skilled tradespeople who are interested in continually learning and building a career in a safety-focused, team environment. Working on state-of-the-art locomotives and cars that carry freight from coast-to-coast-to-coast, you’ll feel proud knowing you’re a part of what makes the economy work. And with paid training, you’ll be able to evolve your skills. At CN, the careers we offer are meaningful because the work we do matters. Join us!


S&C Apprentices will gain the knowledge and skills to become qualified Signal Maintainers, whose duties include installing, repairing, testing and maintaining various signal and communications systems and apparatus, including railway signaling systems, wayside information systems, and highway grade crossing protection systems. Typical Apprentice duties include hand digging to bury cable, wiring equipment, using a variety of hand tools, bonding rail and testing signal plants.

Critical performance areas include the following but may vary depending on location and circumstances:

  • Highway grade crossing protection, automatic classification yards.
  • Install, repair, maintain, test and inspect signal systems including automatic block, traffic control, train stop, train control, cab signal and interlocking systems.
  • Use of a wide variety of hand tools, on track high-rail equipment, and test instruments.
  • Perform construction duties, including digging holes and trenches to lay cables, wiring apparatus, setting piers, installing equipment, etc.

Working conditions:

  • Work shift work, as well as work away from home on various work cycles.
  • Work at all locations across the region.
  • Work outdoors, sometimes in extreme weather conditions, involving physical work.
  • Perform repetitive physical activities during the course of a shift.
  • Good climbing and balancing skills for performing installation and maintenance activities.
  • Frequent lifting/carrying up to 50 pounds (22 kg) and occasionally lifting up to 85 pounds (39 kg).
  • Good eye-hand coordination, grasping and working at heights and elevations.
  • Comply with safe work procedures and policies.

Employment requirements:

Valid driver’s license.

Work location:

Employees may be frequently required to work away from home in isolated locations. Once qualified, Apprentices are subject to promotion as an S&C Maintainer, where there are no qualified applicants on the seniority territory, and are also required to be on-call after hours.


Successful applicants will participate in an apprenticeship training program that includes in-class theory/lab work, with hands-on skill development in the field.

The ideal candidate profile:

  • Good teamwork.
  • Ability to work independently, well organized and can maintain a schedule.
  • Ability to provide clear written and verbal communications.
  • Capable of reading and understanding visual displays and written communications.
  • Ability to understand and apply electrical/electronic and mechanical principles.
  • Ability to follow company safety procedures, use common sense and maintain an overall level of safety awareness.
  • Capable of making effective decisions in unfamiliar locations or when responding to changes or interruptions in work processes.
  • Ability to judge the condition of objects/parts for wear and/or defects.
  • Computer skills that apply to the job.


  • Knowledge of signals or Rail Operating Rules.
  • Commercial driver’s license.
  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree, or a 2 or 3 year College level program in electronics engineering or other related field such as physics or mathematics.

About CN

CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the Southern tip of the U.S. through a 19,500 mile rail network, CN and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship. At CN, we work as ONE TEAM, focused on safety, sustainability and our customers, providing operational and supply chain excellence to deliver results.

CN is an employment equity employer and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted. Please monitor your email on a regular basis, as communication is primarily made through email.

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