Traffic controllers play a vital role in construction, mining, events, and other activities that require management of vehicle and pedestrian flow. If you’re interested in becoming a qualified traffic controller, this guide covers the steps, requirements, training, and certifications involved.

What Does a Traffic Controller Do?

Traffic controllers have the following key responsibilities:

  • Setting up signs, barriers, cones to direct traffic around work areas
  • Stopping vehicles and guiding traffic safely through sites
  • Ensuring pedestrian safety through temporary crossings
  • Communicating and coordinating with site vehicles
  • Monitoring traffic flow to prevent congestion
  • Ensuring traffic management plans are followed correctly

It’s a demanding job requiring alertness, communication skills, and a safety-focused mindset.

Requirements to Become a Traffic Controller

To work as a traffic controller in Australia, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Obtain relevant qualifications and licences
  • Be physically fit with good vision and hearing
  • Have basic English literacy and communication skills

You’ll also need to pass drug and alcohol screening by employers.

Step 1: Complete Training and Certification

You must complete formal training in traffic control through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This covers:

  • Reading and understanding traffic guidance plans
  • Traffic management processes and procedures
  • Setting up signs, barriers, and traffic control equipment
  • Communication and warning signals for controlling traffic
  • Relevant legislation and workplace safety

Once completed, you will gain a nationally recognised qualification like RIIWHS205D Control Traffic with Stop-Slow Bat.

Step 2: Apply for a Traffic Controller License

With your qualification, apply to the relevant state/territory authority for a traffic controller or traffic management licence. Requirements vary across Australia so check local regulators.

Step 3: Obtain Other Mandatory Certifications

  • White Card – Mandatory for construction sites
  • First Aid certificate – Needed for emergency response
  • Additional licences – Some states require extra licences for specialised tasks

Step 4: Look for Traffic Control Jobs

Search for traffic controller roles via:

  • Construction companies
  • Traffic management and control firms
  • Local council and government websites
  • Job search platforms like Seek and Indeed
  • Apprenticeships and traineeships

Relevant experience in a safety-focused industry can be beneficial when applying.

Step 5: Maintain Your Skills and Knowledge

  • Read updates from regulators and industry bodies
  • Ask questions of experienced professionals on-site
  • Continue professional development through new qualifications

Staying up-to-date ensures you implement best practices in traffic control.

Becoming a certified traffic controller requires dedication but opens doors to a rewarding career improving safety on roads and worksites across Australia. Follow this guide to gain the essential qualifications and experience.

Key Steps Summary

  1. Complete formal traffic control training and certification
  2. Obtain licences from relevant authorities
  3. Get additional mandatory certificates like first aid
  4. Apply for traffic controller jobs
  5. Maintain ongoing skills and professional development

Following these steps will equip you with the expertise to direct traffic safely and minimise risks.