how to become a traffic controller

3 Tips To Become A Traffic Controller


How to become a traffic controller

So, you want to become a traffic controller and wonder how to get there? Then, read further. Traffic Controllers have the important responsibility of telling drivers when they must stop and wait, and when they can drive slowly through a construction zone. In other words, they work outdoors in all kinds of weather as they ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians and workers. And, to direct the flow and speed of vehicles, they use their good communication and sequential planning skills.

But, how do you become a traffic controller in Australia? If you’re wondering “How can I start my career in construction?”, here are our 3 tips: complete traffic control courses, earn a White Card, and build a strong resume.


What is the job of a Traffic Controller?


Traffic Controllers direct the flow and speed of vehicles, and ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians and workers. In general, the building and construction industry hire Traffic Controllers for manual control of vehicles where automatic lights are unavailable. For example, next to road works, construction sites, during public events and as part of a coordinated emergency response.


What does a traffic control person do?


Traffic controllers are responsible for the following 8 tasks and duties.

  • Coordinate, set up, manage and remove traffic control.

  • Direct traffic around areas of disruption, such as roadworks, accidents, building sites and planned maintenance.

  • Direct pedestrians to maintain safety around changed vehicle and road conditions.

  • Communicate via two-way radio with other road traffic team members, emergency response teams and construction workers to give and receive updates on traffic and conditions.

  • Operate road signs, such as a Stop and Slow bat, cones, chevrons, and barriers. And, they use hand signals to direct the flow of traffic and pedestrians.

  • Explain operations and answer driver and pedestrian questions.

  • Take directions from supervisors, traffic authority workers, construction project managers, police officers, paramedics, firefighters, auditors and government officials.

  • Set up and take down temporary road signs.

  • What do traffic controllers wear?


    To apply for a traffic control job, you need to have personal protective equipment for traffic controllers. It will help you battle poor weather, remain visible on dangerous worksites and provide the stretch and flexibility required to perform difficult tasks.

    Steel Toe Cap Boots: To be allowed to work on a construction site, you need boots that are steel toecap.

    Hard Hat: The hat must shade the face, ears and neck. You may want to wear a broad brimmed hat with fluorescent band or legionnaire hat when the sun is very strong to avoid squinting.

    High Vis Top and Trousers: Protect your skin at work. Wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Long pants and collared, long-sleeved shirts are best. Long sleeved fluorescent shirt, usually yellow or orange, with a reflector band applied to the clothing. “Traffic Controller” / “Authorised Traffic Controller” must be labelled across the back.

    Trousers must be full length with reflector band, these are usually navy heavy-duty cargo pants and lightweight work pants with florescent stripes on them.

    Protective Eyewear: It shields the eyes against strong sun and any airborne workplace hazards. This must meet Australian Standards and be polarized to protect the eyes from the sun and ensure that traffic controllers have full vision.

    Earplugs: Hearing PPE will provide you with benefits such as noise reduction, elevated comfort and continuous wear, with the level of protection available for low to high work noise.

    Sunscreen: People who work outdoors in Australia receive up to 10 times more sun exposure than indoor workers. Because of the higher risk of skin damage and skin cancer, it is recommended outdoor workers use sun protection all year-round, no matter the temperature. UV radiation isn’t like the sun’s light or heat, which can be seen and felt.


    A Rewarding Safe Career Path


    According to the Labour Market Information Portal, construction employment is projected to rise by 80,700 (or 6.8 per cent) over the five years to November 2025.

    Specifically, there is a strong projected employment growth in Building Installation Services (up 23,900 or 8.4 per cent) and in Residential Construction (16,300 or 10.6 per cent). In fact, government stimulus measures initially supported this growth and reflected in the surge in dwelling approvals since mid-2020.

    In addition, the above average growth in Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction sectors (9,900 or 8.8 per cent) reflects significant investment in infrastructure.


    What can I earn as a Traffic Controller?


    While traffic control average salary in Australia in 2021 is $57,525 per year, according to Seek, the most common salary in New South Wales is $95k.

    And, according to Indeed, the average base salary of a Traffic Controller in Sydney NSW was $31.44 per hour as of 31 March 2021, while the average in Australia is $29.50 per hour.


    How to become a traffic controller in Australia


    How do I become a traffic controller in Australia?


    Now, to become a traffic controller, you’ll need accreditation to enable you to work as a Traffic Controller. And, this accreditation lasts for 3 years after which you’ll need to reapply.

    In addition, your accreditation is usually valid for the state or territory you earned it. So, check with your state government department for more details.


    Tip 1 – Complete a Traffic Controller Course


    First, complete a course for traffic controllers that covers both Implement Traffic Control Guidance Plan (RIISS00041) and Traffic Control Management (RIISS00044) components.

    On the one hand, the Implement Traffic Control Guidance Plan component certifies 3 competencies. Namely, it certifies you can implement a traffic management plan, work safely and follow WHS policies and procedures, and communicate in the workplace.

    On the other hand, the Traffic Control Management component allows you to set up and prepare a site, as well as use the Stop and Slow Bat. Namely, this component certifies you can work safely and follow WHS policies and procedures, communicate in the workplace, and control traffic with a stop-slow bat.

    So, register now to find a Traffic controller course in Sydney.


    Tip 2 – Earn a White Card


    Next, if you want to be a traffic controller in Sydney, you need construction licences like the White Card. This will allow you to safely enter construction zones all around Australia. A white card (or general construction induction card) is required by anyone who wants to carry out construction work, such as tradespeople and labourers, site managers or other people who work in construction areas.

    So, to be eligible, you must complete general construction induction training with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Thus, use Safe Work Australia online search to find a white card trainer in your area. And, you will need to provide the trainer with 100 points of ID and the course fee is set independently by the RTO.

    Then, get the application forms you need from the RTO. Next, they will submit these forms to Safe Work when you have completed the training. Afterward, you should get your card within 30 days. In the meantime, you can use a statement to prove you have completed the training.

    And, you can now have the digital version of your white card through the Service NSW app. The NSW digital white card is available through the Service NSW app. As it is new technology, you must keep your physical card on you and produce it for inspection if requested, even if your construction site accepts the digital white card.


    Tip 3 – Build a Strong Resume


    Third, you need to build a strong resume that showcases your work and qualifications. The pacing of a career in the construction industry can be rewarding. But, working in the construction industry is a physically and mentally challenging career. And, as a traffic controller, some skills and traits will help you succeed in your work.

    The modern construction worker needs a mix of technical knowledge, physical endurance, and effective communication skills. In details, traffic controllers employers are looking for the following skills and experience:


    What skills do traffic controllers need?


    Skills and Experience To Become A Traffic Controller


  • Traffic control licence: Traffic Control training certification in NSW

  • Traffic management: Coordinating, setting up, managing and removing traffic control. Directing traffic around areas of disruption

  • Construction induction white card: SafeWork NSW – WHS General Construction
    Induction – White Card (CPCCWHS1001) Nationally Recognised

  • Implement traffic control plans licence: Formerly called yellow card

  • Construction industry: Project management and leadership. In construction, technical knowledge is just as important as physical competence

  • Fatigue management: Construction jobs require standing for long hours. Working as a traffic controller requires a minimum of physical strength and endurance to carry out your tasks on a job site. Dexterity and hand-eye coordination are also important. Since construction work requires precision and accuracy, excellent memory is a necessary trait in order to recall important details, processes, and procedures. Read our blog about how to avoid fatigue on shift work


    Other skills to become a traffic controller


  • Radio industry: Radios are often used for traffic management to communicate between stop points. You will need to use a two-way radio solution for onsite communication that will not let your team down.

  • Experience with technology: Technology impacts significantly the construction industry. To be competitive, make sure to be tech-savvy.

  • Workplace health and safety: First aid and CPR

  • Drivers licence: To work as a Traffic Controller in NSW, it is a requirement of the NSW RMS that you hold a current Traffic Controllers Photo Licence.

  • HR Licence: heavy rigid licence, for heavy vehicle

  • Communication: Including reading, vocabulary, ability to listen to and follow directions, written and communication. It is one of the most crucial traffic control skills. On the job site, traffic controllers will need to be able to communicate questions, directions, and decisions to their team.

  • To sum up, to become a traffic controller, prove that you are the right person for the role. And, emphasize those skills in your resume.


    Extra Tip: Have The Right Attitude To Become A Traffic Controller


    Last but not least, get the right attitude! In fact, your mindset and attitude will either make or break your chances of securing your dream Traffic Control job. So, be a teammate, control your appearance and reactions, don’t feel provoked by the public, and be always alert. And, always have a willingness to learn. This is a key skill to access more senior positions.

    Now, you’re on the right path to find traffic management jobs with us.


    Are You Ready To Join Our Team?


    To conclude, we hope that these 3 tips to become a traffic controller in Australia will help you. Help us provide and maintain our high standard of services for all our clients! We’re always looking for new talent to strengthen our team. Therefore, we are looking for motivated Traffic Controllers and Team Leaders who have a great understanding of working along public roads.

    Get in touch for more information and find traffic management jobs with us! In fact, we need people who are flexible to work on a casual on call basis and also potentially ongoing roles as they become available. So, if you feel that you have the drive and passion with a desire to learn, please provide us with more information about you.