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
- Complete formal traffic control training and certification
- Obtain licences from relevant authorities
- Get additional mandatory certificates like first aid
- Apply for traffic controller jobs
- Maintain ongoing skills and professional development
Following these steps will equip you with the expertise to direct traffic safely and minimise risks.