Traffic controllers demand in Australia is continuously rising every year due to the overall high demand for workers in the traffic management industry. Becoming a traffic controller in Australia can be very rewarding as you make Australia’s road infrastructure network safer and better. It also opens doors to many new opportunities in different sectors, such as construction, mining, building, and event management. In addition, you get to travel a lot, meet new people, and work outdoors.
In this article, you will learn more about the traffic controller job and how you can become a qualified traffic controller in Australia.
What Do I Need To Do To Become A Traffic Controller?
You must meet the following requirements to work as a traffic controller legally:
- You must be at least 18 years older.
- You have a valid driver’s licence.
- You must have completed Year 10. You must also read, speak, and understand English to interpret road signs.
- You must obtain a Construction Induction Card, also known as White Card, to undertake the training and work in construction zones.
- You must complete the required traffic controller course on Traffic Control Management and Implement Traffic Control Guidance Plan.
- You must become accredited and obtain a licence from your State Roads Authority to be legally eligible to work.
What Does a Traffic Controller Do?
A traffic controller is responsible for directing the flow of pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, and other machines operating on the road and through work zones while ensuring the safety of pedestrians, drivers, and workers. A common misconception is that a traffic controller holds a stop/slow bat, but there’s much more to this profession than just doing that.
Here are some core duties and responsibilities of a traffic controller:
- Coordinating, managing, and implementing traffic control strategies to establish routes for road users while ensuring their safety.
- Configuring traffic management devices and plans.
- Operating the essential road operating signs, e.g., stop/slow bat and hand signals to control and direct the traffic flow of traffic and pedestrians.
- Directing pedestrian flow to maintain the highest level of safety around vehicles and road conditions.
- Directing traffic flow to alternate routes in case of any disruption due to accidents, roadworks, planned maintenance, etc.
- Use a two-way radio communication to communicate with emergency response teams, members of the road traffic team, and construction workers to send and receive road and traffic-related updates.
- Respond to pedestrian and driver queries and provide information about ongoing operations.
- Explain and share updates about the road operations and answer questions from road users, e.g., drivers, pedestrians, etc.
- Take guidelines from stakeholders, e.g., police officers, government officials, administrators, construction project managers, supervisors, paramedics, firefighters, auditors, etc.
- Inspecting and removing equipment and temporary road signs.
How to Become a Traffic in Australia
To work as a traffic controller, you need accreditation which will last for three years. Once three years are over; you will need to reapply. You also must complete the relevant road traffic controller training and courses. Your accreditation will be specific to your territory or state, so check with your relevant state authority for more information.
- There are two courses which are very popular among employers:
- Implement Traffic Control Guidance Plan: It teaches methods to access and apply work instructions, safety requirements, and different types of signage for road management, helping you control traffic flow on roads.
- Traffic Control Management: It teaches you how to use stop/slow bat, implement traffic control plans, and prepare the road plan to control and direct the traffic on roads.
- Most states require the completion of the following; therefore, after the training, you need to complete the units of competency.
- RIIWHS205E — Control traffic with a stop-slow bat
- RIIWHS302E — Implement traffic management plans
- You must obtain a construction induction card, also known as White Card, to get eligible to work near or in construction zones around the country. It is a mandatory requirement, so you must attend construction induction training from a nationally recognised institute.
- You must also apply for accreditation to work as a traffic controller in your territory or state. This must be renewed every three years. The accreditation requirements may differ from one state to another; therefore, you need to check with the state government for more information.
- You must ensure that you have any other licences or tickets the employers require, e.g., a current driver’s licence.
How to Get a Job as a Traffic Controller in Australia
You can seek employment in this discipline after obtaining the necessary traffic controller accreditation and meeting the essential requirements to become a traffic controller. Job opportunities exist in the following sectors but are not limited to:
- Event industries
- Heavy industries
- Capital work
Alternatively, you can register your interest with traffic management and control companies and labour-hire companies to get a job and start working as a traffic controller in Brisbane or a different territory or state in Australia. They have many opportunities to help candidates hone their skills and integrate into full-time roles.
The average traffic controller salary in Australia is AU$63,560 per year or AU$4,903 per month, but it can vary in different territories and states. It translates to AU$27.90 per hour. Please note that your experience and position also come into play and affect your pay. For example, an experienced traffic controller can expect to earn more wages, while a traffic controller may get less income if they are new to it.
To summarise, the traffic controller is a noble profession in which you serve a nation by ensuring and maintaining a safe environment for pedestrians, drivers, and workers. You must meet the state requirements and complete the required traffic controller training courses before kicking off your career in this field and start serving the nation. The demand is expected to rise over the next decade as the government continues to invest in new and existing projects to improve the road infrastructure network.