Becoming a qualified Traffic Controller opens the door to a new career working in a variety of fields such as construction, building, mining or event industries.
Working in the traffic management industry can be very rewarding, ensuring the safety of workers and road users. In addition, there are other opportunities such as the chance to travel to new locations and enjoy working outdoors. However, to work as an authorised traffic controller in Western Australia, you need to hold various qualifications to gain employment.
Here are the key details you should know;
What Does A Traffic Controller Do?
A traffic controller directs the flow of vehicles, machinery and other road users on roads. Working in this role involves more than just holding a stop/slow bat. Common tasks and responsibilities for a Traffic Controller include;
- Setting up traffic management signs and devices
- Directing traffic and road users
- Applying and monitoring safety and traffic management plans
- Inspecting and cleaning signs and equipment
When working as a Traffic Controller you may also need to follow specific dress and personal protective equipment (PPE) standards such as hi visibility clothing, hard hats, steel capped footwear and more. Working as a Traffic Controller is a serious responsibility as your primary duty is to ensure the safety of yourselves, other road-workers and all road users. In addition, it is also a responsibility to minimise the impact of the roadworks project on the road users and network. Depending on the job or project, you may work shifts ranging from 8 to 12 hour shifts. During the shift, you may set up, maintain, and pull down road signs or devices. You may also need to control and direct traffic or construction equipment.
The job also has physical requirements. You may need to lift relatively heavy objects when preparing a traffic management work site. Some signs and devices can be 5-10 kilograms. In addition there may be times where you are standing for long periods of time, therefore it is important to have the physical ability to perform this role and assigned tasks. In some situations, you may travel considerable distances to and from worksites or even have the need to work away from home for periods of time.
Traffic management is a requirement which can occur 365 days of the year. Therefore work days may vary from mid-week, weekends, nights or public holidays.
What Do I Need To Do To Become A Traffic Controller?
To become a Traffic Controller, you need to obtain a Construction Safety Awareness Card or most commonly referred to as a White Card and complete the necessary traffic management training course. Those interested in obtaining work in this field need to be at least 18 years of age and have (or have held) a driver’s license. The White Card is a prerequisite for completing the training course and a requirement for working on a construction site.
Traffic Controllers also need to speak, read and understand English to ensure interpret road signs used in Western Australia.
What Training Course Is Required?
To become a qualified Traffic Controller in Western Australia, you are required to complete a Main Roads WA Basic Worksite Traffic Management & Traffic Controller (BWTM & TC) 2.5 day training course. Following the successfully completion of this course you will receive;
- Statement of Attainment for RIIWHS302D, RIIWHS205D, RIICOM201D, RIIWHS201D
- Main Roads WA Certificate of Attendance
- Main Roads WA BWTM & TC accreditation (this is valid for a three (3) year period)
It is a requirement to complete the BWTM & TC training course through an approved Main Roads WA training provider.
During training you will undertake both theory and hands on practical training including simulated and live road/traffic environments. Assessments will include both written and practical to demonstrate your knowledge of information covered during the training.
To keep the accreditation current, you need to complete a Main Roads WA Basic Worksite Traffic Management & Traffic Controller (BWTM & TC) re-accreditation one (1) day training course within three (3) year period.
Where Can I Find Traffic Control Jobs?
After obtaining the necessary Traffic Controller accreditation, you may begin seeking employment in this field. Traffic Controller job opportunities may exist in a wide range of areas such as construction, building, mining or event industries. The average Traffic Controller hourly rate working in Western Australia is $24 per hour.
Your position, location, experience and industry also affect your pay. An experienced Traffic Controller can expect to earn more while entry level positions may pay less. Majority vacant positions are casual roles due to seasonal changes in workload. During summer months, workload is typically higher compared to winter months where there is a lesser demand due to inclement weather conditions and inability to work on roads.
In summary, you will need to complete the necessary Traffic Controller training course before seeking work in this field.
The need for experienced specialists is expected to rise over the next decade due to the road construction and maintenance projects required to be completed.