Working as a traffic controller can be quite rewarding since you get to travel to new locations and ensure the safety of workers, pedestrians, and drivers. Moreover, it can also open the doors for you to work in different industries of your choice, such as mining, construction, building, and event industries.
However, it’s essential to note that you need to be qualified to enjoy the perks. For instance, if you are a resident of Australia, you can take a license-based traffic control course in Sydney by AlertForce to adhere to your legislative licensing requirements. In addition, you will also need to get professional trainings.
Nevertheless, we’ll talk about everything related to becoming a qualified traffic controller in this article. Keep reading to learn!
What Do Traffic Controllers Do?
The primary responsibility of a traffic controller is to maintain a safe environment for pedestrians and workers. Although you may assume that you’ll only be required to hold a stop-slow bat to control traffic, it’s more than that. Here are some of the tasks and duties of traffic controllers:
- Coordinating and managing traffic control
- Planning traffic control with the site supervisor and also coordinating with regulatory officials, inspectors, foremen, and crew leads
- Directing traffic around working or disruption sites like accidents, road works, construction sites, and planned maintenance
- Using hand signals, a two-way radio, and road signs to keep a smooth flow of traffic and pedestrians
- Guiding the drivers and pedestrians by answering their questions and explaining operations
- Cleaning and maintaining road signs and equipment
Where Do Traffic Controllers Work?
While the safety of pedestrians and workers is the main responsibility of traffic controllers, they also need to ensure a smooth road network through adequate planning.
You may work for around 8 to 10 hours per shift and need to set up and maintain barriers and road signs. Additionally, you may be required to follow a dress code and wear reflective vests, hard hats, and safety work boots.
Generally, you may have to work on the project site, and sometimes, you may be shifted several kilometers away from the job site and still be required to stay in contact with communication devices.
Of course, all this requires you to be professionally trained and qualified to be able to complete your assigned tasks efficiently and without any hassle.
What Do You Need to Become a Qualified Traffic Controller?
In order to qualify for a traffic controller, you need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license with you. Owing to the duties related to the job, you must be able to lift heavy objects without any issues.
Obviously, you will also be required to train for, let’s say, controlling traffic with a stop-slow bat, implementing traffic management plans, operating communication devices, and cleaning up a road work site by enrolling in courses.
Although these are the most basic requirements, other requirements may vary from region to region. For instance, according to AlertForce, if you want to become a qualified traffic controller in Australia, you should be able to understand the road signs used in Australia, speak and read English, and obtain a white card, which lets you work in construction zones in Australia.
Which Sectors Offer Traffic Control Jobs?
Once you’re done with the required traffic controller training courses, you may be able to find job opportunities in a variety of sectors like construction, heavy industries, domestic, commercial, maintenance, and infrastructure.
You may be hired on a part-time, full-time, or temporary basis. The salary depends on your experience, position, and industry. Of course, more experience will help you earn more compared to an individual with less experience.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Traffic Controller?
Since there’s no requirement for individuals to hold a bachelor’s degree, most traffic controllers get into this field right after completing high school.
Obviously, you need to keep in mind that it may only take a few weeks to complete your training courses. If you already work in the construction industry, you may hold a white card. Otherwise, it will take only a day to complete white card training.
When applying for the role of traffic controller, there may already be a lot of competition as most of the job applications are from construction workers. If this is the case, you should look for other sectors such as transport or capital works. Or, maybe, even apply for a junior position to earn work experience.