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Traffic controller earning $2k a week reveals easy way he got job as some argue it 'shouldn't exist'

The Brisbane worker said the biggest misconception about traffic controllers was they “do nothing all day”.

An Aussie traffic controller has defended a job you can make $200,000 doing. And it only took him one day of study to become qualified.

The lucrative job has been sparking debate recently, with one economist arguing it was "a dodgy situation" when traffic controllers were paid more than teachers.

After being stopped while on the job, the Brisbane traffic controller revealed he was earning about $2,000 per week from the job, working 11 hours days.

But he revealed traffic controllers could earn even more - with some earning up to $200,000 - if they were covered by a union agreement.

“Bigger the site, the more money you earn," he said.

Traffic controller
The Brisbane traffic controller said he was earning $2,000 per week, doing 11-hour shifts. (Source: TikTok)

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The Aussie said he landed the job after completing a short course and noted the job itself involved doing basic labour and was a “great entry” point into the construction industry.

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“The course normally takes about a day and it just involves learning about the system and the rules,” he said in the video posted by jobs app Getahead.

In Queensland, workers have to complete an approved traffic controller training course to become accredited. This involves an in-class training program which takes eight to nine hours, plus they'll also need to do 20 hours of on-the-job practical experience.

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When asked what the biggest misconception about the job was, he said people often thought traffic controllers just “stand around and do nothing all day”.

“Sometimes you are standing on a bat all day but other times you have to do what we do, which is managing a site,” he said.

Fellow traffic controller Nyah Covey also expressed a similar sentiment, recently telling Aussies there was a lot more to the job than just twisting a ‘Stop/Slow’ sign.

“Anyone who comments this and says stuff like this has never worked in traffic control and don’t understand what actually is involved with this job,” Covey said on TikTok.

“A lot of people will get into this industry thinking 'I will do f*** all' but that is not the case’.”

The 21-year-old explained she worked in the traffic management implementation section of traffic controlling, which meant she was responsible for setting up the site and for road safety matters that happened on site.

Covey revealed she was earning around $2,300 for five 12-hour shifts and was usually paid around $32 an hour, but some traffic control workers can earn even more.

Another traffic controller, Suzie Rose, recently revealed she was earning up to $200,000 and was able to earn this much by doing night shifts, where penalty rates and loadings were “really good”.

Traffic controller jobs 'should not exist'

The Queensland government is currently looking at a deal with construction unions which would reportedly see traffic controllers paid $215,000 on a $1 billion plus project.

That's about $105,000 more than a schoolteacher, who can earn $110,000 with a degree and six years' experience in the state.

Dr Cameron Murray, chief economist at Fresh Economic Thinking, criticised the high pay on offer.

"The job should not exist in 2024," he wrote on X. "We automated traffic control at intersections with lights and rules in the middle of last century.

"Europeans don’t do this. Just use mobile traffic lights and require road users to actually be aware of their surroundings."

However, other Aussies defended the workers and noted it was a "dangerous job".

Earlier this year, it was also reported that the Construction, Forestry, Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU) was looking at a deal with the Victoria government.

The deal would see construction workers, including traffic controllers, pocket “at least” a 5 per cent pay rise. Labourers and junior stop-sign holders working 36-hour weeks on construction sites would earn $120,000 a year.

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